Instead of placing your future in the hands of a judge who hardly has time
to get acquainted with your circumstances, you and your spouse can dictate
the terms of your future with the help of a mediator. The typical
divorce mediation will progress along five stages. If you are researching the benefits of
a mediated divorce and want to know whether this process would work for
you, read on to get an inside look into how mediation actually works.
As a disclaimer, this is more of a general outline of the mediation process.
Not every mediation will happen in this particular order.
The first stage in a mediated divorce is probably going to be the
introductory stage though. This is where the mediator, a qualified and neutral third party,
hears out the basics of your case, and then tells you the game plan for
helping you and your spouse to agree on the terms of a divorce settlement.
Then there is a potentially long
information-gathering stage. This is where you will have to track down the nitty-gritty details of
the divorce, anything from the policy number of a life insurance policy
to tax returns and mortgage statements. This is also a time for the mediator
to explain New York divorce law and how it could factor into your case.
This gives you a framework within which to create the terms of
child support, and
alimony, etc. The mediator will have to assess whether all the information is
complete, or if you will need to collect more. Understandably, you may
have to expect this part of the process to take up at least two meetings.
Getting these details nailed down is worth it though.
framing stage is where the mediator tries to understand where each spouse is coming
from, their "needs and interests", why they want the settlement
they do. The mediator wants to know the goals that each spouse has for
the divorce settlement. Depending on the circumstances, a mediator might
talk with each spouse separately, or conduct this part of the process
in a joint meeting. However it is done, a mediator is going to try to
find areas where each spouse hopes for a similar outcome.
After this foundation has been laid, the mediator will strive to have spouses
negotiate the terms of the divorce agreement in the
negotiating stage. Of course, spouses cannot agree perfectly in every area, and the point
of mediation is that spouses have to be willing to compromise in order
to find the optimal resolution. The mediator is there to help spouses
keep the conversation respectful and productive, enabling them to write
up the draft for a balanced settlement. A mediator cannot tell you what
to do, however. Their suggestions carry no legal authority.
Finally, in the
concluding stage, you and your spouse can review your settlement draft. Ideally, with the
help of an experienced
Long Island divorce lawyer on your side, you can make sure that everything is covered and that your
rights have not been violated. Then when you and your spouse have signed
off on the final draft, this divorce settlement can go before a judge
to be approved by him or her.
In this way, you may be able to conclude an amicable divorce, and you will
have saved yourself time and money in the process. If you are interested
in pursuing the advantages of a mediated divorce,
contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today! Find out how a compassionate Long Island divorce mediator could
help you arrive at the divorce settlement you deserve.