Bullet Points About Divorce Mediation Part One

This blog will be the first of a series of blogs that contain bullet points to summarize my blogs overMediating-Couple-Bright-Window-300x200

the past number of years. This blog series is intended to give an overview of information about

mediation, particularly divorce mediation, in no particular order of importance. Here it goes…

  1. There is court ordered mediation for child custody cases in family court now
  2. There is court ordered mediation for Divorces that land in court. It is called mandatory presumptive divorce mediation
  3. Divorce mediation can be done by conference calls or video conference like skype or traditional in office conference room mediation
  4. Mediating and negotiating from the right place inside of you makes sense and is probably more accessible in mediation than other forms of dispute resolution
  5. Mediation can be a flexible process, traditionally it is done with couples together, however, it allows for flexibility to do separate meetings (by mutual consensus), when appropriate for comfort or solution obtaining problem solving
  6. Mediation does not foreclose other processes, it is a win win if do it since less expensive, less adversarial, more expeditious, but can feel out other side, know sticking points, resolve certain things, use other processes afterwards like collaborative, negotiations, litigation (mediation in court, which just means you are going to get a different mediator that you did not select)
  7. Mediation does not have to be complex, it can be as straightforward as transposing the settlement ideas the couple has into notes that are then made into a binding legal agreement followed by an uncontested divorce
  8. You can attend a free initial consultation session with your spouse to see if you and your spouse have a good vibe, so to speak, with the mediator and mediation is a process that makes sense for you and your spouse
  9. What is fair for Equitable Distribution of marital assets and marital debt for your family can be discussed and agreed upon in divorce mediation sessions
  10. Whether or not one parent would be permitted to relocate with the children, and the specifics about it (radius clauses, certain counties, certain states) without subsequent permission of the court can be discussed in divorce mediation
  11. Couples have the flexibility to decide the end game of their mediation, such as should they be striving towards a post-nuptial agreement that allows them to stay together instead of a legal separation or divorce
  12. The questions by your divorce mediator and discussions in divorce mediation can be to get to the real meaning behind positions in a dispute that lead to a deeper discussion that can allow for meaningful solutions that can be a solution for disputes for the family
  13. The terms of Separation Agreements can be arranged through divorce mediation as pre-cursor to the uncontested divorce or to allow for an uncontested divorce to be filed immediately after a Separation Agreement is made. Often times a decision to stay legally separated for a period of time is made to allow one spouse to stay on another’s health insurance plan among other reasons
  14. All the terms of a settlement agreement can be agreed upon and then made into a binding legal agreement by divorce mediators that are also attorneys that will settle all the issues necessary to make a divorce uncontested. This includes: Grounds for divorce; child custody; parenting time; child support; the payment or waiver of maintenance aka alimony (and if applicable for how long it would last); and equitable distribution of marital assets and marital debt and the many details that fall under all of the aforementioned categories
  15. Divorce mediation can be a flexible process that follows more traditional processes such as joint mediation sessions or to allow for preliminary planning sessions (if mutually agreed upon)
  16. Whether or not child support should remain at a constant level moving into the future or the terms of how it should be modified going forward can be agreed upon in mediation
  17. What circumstances would allow for child custody and parenting terms to be modified in the future can be discussed and agreed upon in divorce mediation
  18. Agreed upon and properly drafted terms (by a diligent drafting attorney) that are arrived at through divorce mediation will usually be signed off on by the court, particularly when mediation is properly done with facets such as the utilization of review attorneys
  19. Deviations from the child support and maintenance guidelines can be achieved by agreements in divorce mediation. Considerations like the changes in tax deductibility for maintenance payments, financial resources, and educations needs of each spouse, among other considerations can be discussed
  20. Mediation is in most instances the least costly and most efficient method to obtain a divorce
  21. Prenuptial agreements can be negotiated in mediation then drafted by a mediator/drafting attorneys
  22. Review attorneys are recommended for individuals mediating with a divorce mediator. Review attorneys are usually consulted by individuals behind the scenes in between or after mediation sessions. If not before, the time to consult with a review attorney would be when an agreement arrived at in mediation is drafted. Although review attorneys is a recommendation, not everybody takes their divorce mediator up on that recommendation
  23. Divorce mediation is not an adversarial process. The very nature of divorce litigation is adversarial as it is Plaintiff v. Defendant
  24. Whether or not and what to include regarding college costs for the children can be included in a mediated agreement
  25. Getting your spouse to agree to mediation as a process could be approached from a financial angle (ie. we will have more money left over to divided if we use mediation as a process) or as a better process to maintain the emotional health of the family
  26. Couples can switch from litigation to mediation. Nowadays for litigated divorce cases in New York there is presumptive divorce mediation
  27. Individuals can prepare for their divorce mediation by thinking about the issues they want to address and becoming familiar with their financial circumstances and needs before mediations sessions
  28. An experienced and trained mediator can help de-escalate conflict by using listening techniques like looping and establishing ground rules to help facilitate a proper atmosphere to encourage resolution
  29. Divorce mediators might come from different backgrounds (some are lawyers, some are financial professionals, some are mental health professionals, etc.). Ultimately the court papers should be drafted by a divorce lawyer. A mediator that is also a divorce lawyer can both mediate with the couple and draft the required documents for a settlement agreement and uncontested divorce.  Stay tuned to my next blogs for more of my continued summary of points about mediation…