Can Divorce Mediation Be a Straightforward Process?

Mediation-Couch-300x200Divorce is rarely straightforward. There are a lot of things that couples need to cover when a marriage comes to an end, including figuring out how debts and assets should be divided between parties, and determining who should have primary custody over the children. However, depending on the nature of your relationship with your ex-spouse, and the strategy you choose for managing your divorce, it is possible to make things a little simpler.

Divorce mediation is often a more straightforward way to deal with divorce for the couples I work with that want to avoid things like litigation. During mediation, couples have the chance to discuss the outcomes that they want to achieve with their divorce and negotiate the terms of things like maintenance aka spousal support, maintenance, equitable distribution and more. For many parties, a divorce mediation is a more relaxing and fast-paced strategy for handling the various complications that arrive during divorce. That’s why I’m so committed to giving the people I work with the opportunity to choose mediation if they feel that it’s right for them.

Sometimes, when couples come to me in search of an alternative mode of dispute resolution for their divorce, they already have an idea of what they want to accomplish in their divorce mediation sessions. This can lead to some of the most simple and straightforward divorce processes available. If the couple comes to me knowing, already knowing what they want, and both parties are ready to collaborate and negotiate to get the results that matter most to them, then divorce mediators’ jobs can be reduced mostly to the role of notetaker.

Mediation Can Be Many Things You Need it to Be

As a mediator and divorce attorney, I’ve had a unique opportunity to see divorce from a range of different angles. I often find that mediation is a highly appealing option for divorce, because it can keep stress and emotional overwhelm to a minimum. One of the biggest benefits of mediation is how flexible it can be. For instance, when parties come to me seeking a divorce mediator, I can give them the option to discuss all of their issues as a couple, or I can allow them to build a rapport with me individually before the full mediation begins, if they elect to utilize preliminary planning sessions, so that they feel more comfortable and confident entering the negotiation.

Additionally, because mediation allows couples to negotiate over issues and come to terms that they can both live with, there’s less need for the courts to take control and implement orders that both spouses may be unhappy with. This means that there’s far more flexibility in the kind of outcomes that a couple can achieve with divorce mediation too.

For those in search of a straightforward strategy for dealing with their divorce, the mediation process can also be as complex or simple as you need it to be. I regularly commit to training sessions and consistent learning to make sure that I can help my mediation clients as much as possible. This doesn’t mean that I tell them what to do in a mediation session, but it does mean that I can help the couple to get to the bottom of deep seated issues, by attempting to ask the right questions to try to help them find the meaning beneath their statements. By asking the right questions during mediation, I can sometimes help to encourage more meaningful discussions between parties that can lead to resolutions.

However, for some people, mediation doesn’t have to be that much of an emotional experience. Instead, certain couples simply want to tell me what they’ve decided and let me take notes about what needs to be done. There’s no need to discover the underlying meaning in statements in this case, or to probe deeply to the emotional meaning behind things. Sometimes, mediation is just a matter of going through what my clients have already decided when it comes to addressing things like:

  • Divorce grounds
  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Child support
  • Maintenance (alimony)
  • Equitable distribution of marital debt and assets

Creating the Mediation Experience that Works for You

In some straight-forward sessions, there will be certain issues that need to be clarified or tweaked. Couples might discover issues that they need to address or encounter problems that push them to think differently about the way that they’re going to pursue their divorce. However, there doesn’t always need to be a lot of deep psychological techniques involved in mediation unless that’s what the couple needs and wants. Sometimes, people just need to find out whether the agreements they have in mind will work according to the regulations and rules of New York law, or not.

In straightforward mediation sessions, my role as a mediator can be as basic as required. I can simply be a source of information as to the guidelines, for example on details like child support and, if the couple wants to hear about it, maintenance.  Sometimes this is helpful so more informed decisions about the family’s future can be made. Alternatively, if you want to get more in depth, then we can also dive deeper into our discussions. The nature of divorce mediation means that there are a wide range of options available to the people I work with, including everything from preliminary planning sessions, to artful questions asked to search for underlying meaning, mediation by caucus, and more.

To discuss your options for mediation, why not reach out to my office to schedule your free initial consultation.  Mediating couples will have their free initial consultation of up to a half hour together.  You can contact us via our online contact form, or you can get in touch with a call to (516) 333-6555.

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