In some cases, divorce mediation can be the best solution for a couple who want to find an amicable way in which to end their relationship. It allows individuals the opportunity to settle disputes that typically arise in the instance of divorce, outside of the discomfort of a court-room setting, and promotes a less formal, yet often effective way to overcome and negotiate differences. However, the success of your mediation will not only depend on your willingness, as a party of divorce, to negotiate, but also the skills, techniques, and experience of the mediator you are using to guide you through the process.
Although in most mediations, the legal system only has a minimal amount of involvement, it is still a legal process that benefits from the use of a professional with extensive knowledge of matrimonial and divorce law. Ultimately a court needs to review the papers, approve the agreements and sign off on any divorce judgment. Mediation should provide a structured format in which friction can be minimized during a spousal settlement conversation. Mediators are not judges, arbitrators, or referees, and they cannot make decisions on any party’s behalf about important concerns. However, what they can do is offer insight as a neutral and impartial third party, helping disputants to reach a compromise that they both find acceptable.
So how can you choose a reliable mediator?
Selecting a mediator is a little more complex than simply drawing a name out of a hat. Although people from various walks of life and professions train to become divorce mediators, not all of them will be as effective as others. Keep in mind that divorce – no matter the circumstances – is an uncomfortable process, which means that whichever mediator you choose, you’ll need to make sure that you like them, respect them, and believe in their ability to help you negotiate an equitable settlement. In many cases, lawyers truly can make the best mediators, simply because they have more experience than any other professional within the field of divorce. Divorce lawyers who also do divorce mediation have a strict focus – helping to resolve matrimonial and family law disputes using different processes, litigation and mediation.
While individuals from all walks of life can make effective mediators, divorce lawyers are the only professionals who have spent their time studying at law school, receiving juris doctorates, passing bar exams, and gaining admittance to the state bar. Although other professionals – such as therapists, can be very effective at addressing conflict resolution and the needs of children, New York divorce lawyers have a unique insight outside of most perspectives. Lawyers can learn tactics for conflict resolution through various methods and negotiations such as if they practice collaborative law and high-conflict litigations. In their day-to-day routines, lawyers see first-hand how parenting time resolutions and custody agreements work out for different couples. They can provide answers to the issues that might present themselves when people want to modify parenting time and custody at a later date, or want to know which arrangement courts will accept in regards to child support, equitable distribution and more.
Choosing a lawyer as a mediator means selecting someone that has specialized and in-depth knowledge in an incredibly complex area. Few other professionals will be able to offer you confident answers to questions about how child support might change over time, or how adjustments can be made to allow for future modifications.
Lawyers Will Always Be Involved
Regardless of whether or not you choose to access the guidance of a divorce lawyer who is also a certified mediator, it’s worth noting that you will need the input of a legal professional at some point during your divorce. An attorney will be needed to draft your settlement agreement, and if your mediator is also a lawyer, this means that you can avoid seeking out other professionals, and potentially prolonging the experience. However, keep in mind that even if you do use a lawyer as your divorce mediator, the chances are that you will be advised to seek out independent review attorneys to go over the terms of the agreement in question. The reason for this is that even if your mediator is an attorney, it will be their role to help you move through the mediation procedure, not give legal advice.
While mediation can provide a useful alternative to litigation when couples want to deal with the complications of divorce outside of the courtroom, this doesn’t mean they allow for the absence of legal professionals. There are a number of technical legal issues that must be included within the language of an agreement, and often using a lawyer as a mediator can help to reduce the number of issues that may need to be corrected once an independent review attorney has assessed the agreement for each party or a drafting attorney puts together the setttlement agreement. The purpose of this blog is not to suggest that other divorce mediators are not qualified or talented at performing a divorce mediation. Rather, it is to provide information about the benefits that can be obtained from utilizing a lawyer as a mediator.
One of the most important factors in choosing a divorce mediator will be how well you can communicate with the professional in question. Regardless of whether that individual is a lawyer, a therapist, or an accountant, your mediator should be someone who both you and the other party feel comfortable working with in the pursuit of an agreeable settlement.
As usual, please feel free to browse through out other web pages and blog entries for more information on family law and divorce mediation.