Mediation Attorneys in Toms River

Alternative Resolutions to Divorce Matters

The decision to end a marriage is not only a painful one, but it opens the door to a range of sensitive issues that don’t necessarily have an easy resolution. Everything from the distribution of assets to custody of the children must be resolved. With these issues raise their head at an emotionally charged time for all parties, the possibilities for confrontation are high. That’s where alternative dispute resolution–namely, mediation–can perform a valuable service to both spouses.

Mediation has been deemed so valuable by the state of New Jersey that couples who file for divorce here are legally obligated to at least give it a chance. One of the key principles of this process is that the mediator may not impose a solution on the parties, so there’s no guarantee that mediation will avoid a public confrontation at trial. But it offers the hope of a workable solution.

Considering mediation? Call our Toms River divorce mediation lawyers today at 732-361-4827

The Advantages of Mediation

A big advantage to getting a divorce settlement worked out in mediation is financial. Based on average costs, a mediated settlement can be six times less expensive than even a reasonably amicable divorce. The costs of a contested divorce can further skyrocket. Mediation makes good financial sense, so long as both spouses are willing to give it a fair shot.

The mediation process also offers a confidentiality that the courtroom does not. Mediation sessions are private and, except in some rare circumstances, the mediator is bound to maintain that privacy. This offers several important benefits:

  • You can be conciliatory towards your spouse without fear that it will come back to haunt you. That is, your spouse cannot take anything–be it a substantive offer or simply kind words–and try to use it against you at a future trial. You have the security to pursue a peaceful resolution and not give away any leverage you might need for a courtroom.
  • If you have children, you can settle your disputes without them hearing things that you would prefer to be kept between you and your spouse. For example, if the grounds for the divorce is adultery, both parents may want that kept from the kids. That’s possible in mediation in a way that it is not in court.
  • Parents with children are likely to maintain some type of relationship in the future. The way in which the divorce settlement goes down will be the first step in the new relationship you’ll have with your spouse. A calmly mediated settlement is a good way to start anew. A potentially acrimonious litigation can open more wounds.
  • On a practical level, mediation gives you a level of control that will not exist in the courts. You and your spouse decide when you want to schedule the mediation sessions. That’s certainly not the case with court appearances. At a stressful time in the life of you and your children, there are definite advantages to being able to set your mediation sessions so they don’t conflict with extracurricular activities or your work schedule.

You, along with your spouse, are also in much greater control of the pace of resolution. Bringing a divorce case to an end in court will hinge on the judge’s timetable. Settling everything in mediation moves to the timetable of the parties involved.

It’s not hard to understand why the state of New Jersey wants everyone to at least try it. Mediation offers you lower costs, more privacy, hope for better relationships in the future and a potentially faster resolution.

The Challenges in Mediation

We don’t want to imply that mediation is always smooth sailing. That’s not the case. There are real challenges that people face in making this process work for them.

A prime example is when abuse was involved in the marriage. A mediator can take this into consideration and choose to meet with each spouse separately.

Another less drastic example is when one spouse consistently imposed their will on the other during the marriage. The victimized spouse, often motivated by a desire to simply keep things peaceful, might have a very justifiable fear of the dynamic repeating itself in mediation. A good mediator will prevent this from happening and is there to provide counsel on what is and isn’t in your best interests.

Successful mediation depends on both parties being completely transparent with each other. If one spouse has shown a track record of deceitful behavior, that won’t lend itself to confidence in the process. Money that’s hidden or asset statements that are manipulated work against the very purpose of mediation. There may be no avoiding going to court if your spouse engages in these tactics.

Ultimately, the biggest hindrance to mediation is simply when one person doesn’t really want it to work. Maybe they don’t want the divorce. Maybe they’re just trying to draw out the process, with the intention of going to trial no matter what.

The success of mediation presumes that you have two parties willing to talk to each other, be honest and work together for a resolution that meets everyone’s concerns. When any of these components are missing, the process is going to be a challenge.

Considering divorce mediation in Toms River? Call us today at 732-361-4827 to find out how we can help

Finding the Mediator

Every couple’s personal dynamic will be unique, so what makes a good mediator will vary from case to case. But there are some common elements that are present in any good mediator. Their personal and professional integrity should be above reproach in the eyes of both parties. The mediator should have no bias toward either side, nor should they ever give off even the appearance of partiality to one side or the other.

Mediators need to be well-trained and experienced in divorce settlements, the better to see potential solutions that the couples might not see for themselves. And a good mediator will have what doctors might call a “bedside manner.” That is, the ability to put people at ease and be approachable.

Zeigler Law Group, LLC has a team of mediation attorneys, steeped in New Jersey divorce law and experienced in the mediation process, who can oversee your divorce settlement. We represent clients who are going through mediation and need counsel on whether their agreement is a fair one. Call us today at 732-361-4827 or contact us here online to talk about your specific mediation needs today.

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