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Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Six Questions You'll Want to Consider Before Committing to Divorce Mediation

In some cases, a divorce action can be settled without lengthy and costly court litigation. Through mediation, the parties settle the issues related to the divorce action so that all they need is a judge to approve the settlement and grant the divorce. In many cases, divorce mediation produces a better outcome than a trail because each party can negotiate terms that are best for their family.

However, divorce mediation is not for everyone. Our New York family law lawyers caution clients to consider the answers to six important questions before consenting to divorce mediation.

  1. Did you have a violent relationship with your spouse? In cases of domestic abuse, mediation very seldom works because the abused spouse has a difficult time advocating for himself or herself, even with the help of a New York divorce attorney. Even if abuse did not occur, if the relationship was violent, it is difficult for spouses to let go of the anger, resentment, and hurt to conduct productive negotiations.

  2. Are you in a hurry to develop a parenting plan? If you need a co-parenting plan quickly and you can work together productively with your spouse, divorce mediation may be the answer. Spouses who understand what they need, are willing to be a little flexible, and are able to compromise can put together a co-parenting play they can utilize while the divorce case is moving through the system.

  3. Are you willing to settle in mediation? You must at least be open to settling your issues through divorce mediation for the process to be successful. If you are more interested in “having your day in court,” you may not be a good candidate for divorce mediation. Our New York divorce attorney discusses this at length because if you want to go to court or you are categorically opposed to compromise, attempting mediation can lengthen the divorce process.

  4. Can you listen to and accept your spouse’s point of view? You can disagree with your spouse while consenting that your spouse has the right to his or her point of view. For divorce mediation to work, you must be open to acknowledging that your spouse may have viewed your marriage and certain events differently. You must be able to understand that because your spouse had a different experience, that difference does not negate your experience or views, but that it is simply different and that is okay.

  5. Do you both agree that the marriage has ended? If you or your spouse believe that the relationship can be repaired, divorce mediation will not work. Both spouses have to acknowledge that the marriage is over and mediation is the vehicle they are using to sort out and resolve the issues so they can move forward with separate lives.

  6. Are you able to put aside your feelings for the best interest of your children? Even if you despise your spouse and blame your spouse for everything, can you put aside your hatred and anger for the benefit of your children? If so, divorce mediation can help you develop a parenting plan that is best for your family. A judge does not know your family and the judge can only draft a plan based on the “average” family’s needs. In most cases, a parenting plan that is mutually agreed upon is best for everyone and more likely to last longer without the need for modifications.

Consult a New York Divorce Attorney for More Information

Divorce mediation can be a useful tool for many couples to resolve issues without a long, costly court battle. Contact us our New York divorce attorneys today to discuss your situation in greater detail.


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