New Jersey Divorce Mediation

Divorce is a complicated process that involves family, legal, and financial issues. All too often, parents become enemies, and their children pay the price of a contentious relationship. The litigation process often causes even more chaos and animosity between spouses, pitting them against each other and making one the “winner” and the other the “loser.” There’s gotta be a better way!

And there is. Divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation that gets divorcing spouses to work together and be on the same page when it comes to their property and their children. Through mediation, spouses can find solutions that are tailored to their needs and leave the bitterness behind in a collaborative way.

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What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is generally a voluntary process, but many courts in New Jersey do order it due to its high success and satisfaction rate. Divorce mediation involves a third party, called a mediator, who is responsible for guiding spouses through a special process. The mediator helps the parties identify issues that need to be resolved and focuses on solving them through cooperation, collaboration, and respect. 

Divorce mediation is forward-looking. The parties do not blame each other or focus on the past. Instead, they look at what is best for their family moving forward. The spouses collaborate and try to find solutions that are mutually beneficial and address their specific needs.

 Spouses work together to develop their own divorce settlement. This may include issues related to their finances, such as determining what to do with the family home, how to split up their property, how to pay for expenses related to their children, or how to handle a family business. It can also include issues related to their children, such as child custody, child support, and parenting plans.

What Happens in Divorce Mediation?

In divorce mediation, the mediator uses effective communication skills to guide the parties in respectful discussions about the issues involved in their divorce. The mediator is neutral and does not represent either party. They do not offer advice to either party, and they do not have the authority to impose any decision on the parties. Instead, the parties have the right to accept or reject any suggestions the mediator or other party makes. 

The mediator starts mediation off by explaining the process of mediation and their role in it. The spouses can have their own lawyers present if they prefer so that the lawyer can give them advice and explain the legal implications of any decision they reach in mediation. 

The mediator can help you and your spouse identify legal issues that you can resolve during this collaborative process. They can also provide information about the possible outcomes that might occur if you continue to litigation.

What Happens in Divorce Mediation?

The time it takes depends on several factors, such as:

  • The complexity of the legal issues involved
  • The number of legal issues involved
  • Whether you and your spouse largely agree or disagree on issues
  • How motivated you and your spouse are to reach an amicable resolution of the legal issues
  • How forthcoming each party is in producing and disclosing pertinent information such as income, assets, debts, etc.

In some cases, mediation is a one-day event. In others, it may take several sessions before the parties reach an agreement. If either spouse no longer wants to continue in mediation, they can stop.

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Call (732)785-9700 or submit a request for a consultation.

Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Some of the most important benefits of divorce mediation include:

  • Cost savings – In a litigated divorce case, you can easily spend thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, court costs, discovery expenses, and so on. In mediation, you might be able to resolve the case without lawyers and you can split the costs of mediation between you and your spouse.
  • Speed – In New Jersey, you might be waiting months for your case to make its way up the docket if your divorce case is contested. However, mediation can help you and your spouse resolve your case more quickly. 
  • Customized results – In mediation, you and your spouse only agree to what makes sense for the both of you and your family. This allows you to create your own agreement.
  • Amicable and Collaborative process – Mediation is based on cooperation and mutual respect. This helps spouses ease into a positive co-parenting relationship more easily than they would if they were part of a contested legal case.
  • Privacy – In a contested case, when appearing in Court, third parties can overhear your case. In contrast, mediation is a private and confidential process.
  • Greater compliance – Because you and your spouse help create the agreement, you’re more likely to be satisfied with it and to comply with the terms.

Schedule A Consultation

Call (732)785-9700 or submit a request for a consultation.

Can I Use Mediation in Other Types of Cases?

Absolutely. Mediation is effective in any type of legal dispute in which the parties want to avoid the expense, publicity, and contention of litigation. It is used in many different contexts, including:

  • Property division
  • Business disputes
  • Child custody matters
  • Support issues
  • Relocation issues
  • Modification of family orders 
  • Emancipation
  • Parenting time 

How Can I Get Started with Divorce Mediation?

There are some steps that you can take today to get started with divorce mediation in New Jersey, including:

1. Consult with a Family Lawyer with Mediation Experience

Your divorce lawyer and mediator have two very different jobs. A divorce lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and advocate for you. A mediator can help you resolve legal issues in an amicable manner. You can use both. However, for you to achieve optimal results, any family lawyer you hire should have experience with mediation.

2. Consider What You Want

While you want to keep an open mind during mediation, it can be useful to consider your overall goals. These might be:

  • Having a civil relationship with your spouse.
  • Avoiding costly and contentious litigation.
  • Maintaining a good relationship with your children.
  • Ensuring your children have everything they need to be happy and healthy.

3. Choose a Qualified Mediator

Mediation is a collaborative process, in which a couple attempts to reach an agreement on issues such as child custody, domestic support and distribution of assets. Susan D. Pontoriero, Esq. has been Certified as a Mediator by the New Jersey Supreme Court and is specially trained to help individuals resolve their differences in a civil manner. Mediation may be court- ordered as a mandated step prior to a divorce hearing. However, couples can also choose to enter into mediation as an alternative to a court hearing, thereby saving time and money.

Susan D. Pontoriero, Esq. has dedicated her legal career to resolving family legal issues in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey. She has the practical experience and knowledge to skillfully mediate your case.

How Can I Get Started with Divorce Mediation?

If you would like a more amicable divorce and solutions that are tailored to the needs of your family, mediation may be best for you. Pontoriero Family Law can help you retain control of the final outcome of your case by guiding you through the mediation process. Contact us to learn more.

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Pontoriero Family Law, LLC

2597 Hooper Avenue
Brick, NJ 08723