What is Divorce Mediation & How Can It Help Me on Long Island, NY?
Finding yourself faced with an impending divorce? If so, you and your soon to be ex-spouse likely have many questions. One of those questions may be whether divorce mediation is the right choice for you? Or better yet, what is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is a voluntary process and method of achieving a legally binding divorce, most often in less time, with less expense and with less stress than a typical litigated divorce. In divorce mediation, you and your soon to be ex-spouse will meet with your divorce mediator, either with or without attorneys, but either way without involving the court system, in order to come to a mutual agreement about the practical terms of the divorce.
While divorce mediation is a better divorce solution for most Long Island couples, it is not for everyone and you and your partner must understand what’s involved before making any decision.
Should We Consider Divorce Mediation?
Because divorce mediation involves you and your partner coming to a mutual agreement on your own terms, it is essential that you both are either already in accord with your wants or believe you will be able to reach a mutual agreement. It is essential that you and your partner can communicate with each other in order to come to agreement on the practical matters that need to be resolved to end your marriage. This does not mean that you have to be in complete agreement before you enter mediation, but you both need to be willing to listen to your partner and make reasonable compromises that are in the best interest of you and your family.
While not necessary, it can be helpful if both you and your spouse have been involved in handling the finances throughout the marriage. If you are both aware of your current financial situation and obligations, there is less chance of surprises or unexpected results.
If you and your soon to be ex-spouse have feelings of resentment or animosity toward one another, divorce mediation may be a more difficult experience. However, it is not crucial that you and your soon to be ex-spouse are on the same page regarding all issues surrounding the divorce before deciding on divorce mediation rather than hiring divorce attorneys and litigating your divorce in court. When going through a divorce, it is almost inevitable that there will be disagreements along the way; so long as these are minor or things that are capable of resolution with time, divorce mediation is something you should consider.
What are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?
Cost: Two Attorneys = Twice the Fees. Perhaps the most important issues for Long Island couples going through a divorce is the financial aspect of the divorce itself. This is one of the major benefits of divorce mediation: it is usually much less costly than divorce litigation. If taking the typical route of litigating your divorce in the Nassau County or Suffolk County court system, both you and your partner would need to hire, and therefore pay for, for your own divorce attorney, which may have the potential to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Divorce mediation on the other hand, is likely to cost a fraction of the price.
Time: Months Versus Years. With coordinating attorneys’ schedules, motions, responses to motions, scheduling court dates, etc., not to mention the adversarial nature of divorce litigation, litigating your divorce often take years to resolve and conclude. Because you and your spouse work together with your divorce mediator to resolve your divorce through mediation, you are in control of how long it takes. Your mediator works to keep the sessions non-adversarial and productive to conclude your divorce as quickly as possible. With divorce mediation, your divorce can be finalized after a few sessions with the mediator if you and your partner are able to easily agree on the terms.
Confidential: Better for You and Your Children. Another significant benefit of divorce mediation, especially if you and your partner have children, is the fact that any divorce judgment reached by mediation is confidential. If your divorce is litigated in court, it becomes public record, and therefore, all information that was discussed during the divorce also becomes public record – including your finances, assets, income, any fault asserted, and all other personal issues that may have been discussed. If you do have children, it is likely you are friendly with other parents in the neighborhood, therefore, it may be beneficial to you and your partner to keep such information private and allow the divorce to remain a personal, not public, matter.
Non-Confrontational: Low-Stress. Divorce mediation itself is a friendlier and non-confrontational process as opposed to the much more adversarial nature of a litigated divorce through the court system. If you and your partner have the type of relationship that allows for you to consider divorce mediation initially, it is likely that neither of you wish to drag the other through the painful stages of litigation. By choosing divorce mediation, you and your soon to be ex-spouse only need to sit down in a room and discuss both of your wants and needs, there is no need for a divorce attorney to fight for more for either of you. Through divorce mediation, you are more likely to minimize any feelings of hostility toward one another and come away with an agreement you can both live with going forward.
Do We Still Need to Hire Divorce Attorneys?
There are a number of different types of divorce mediators who can help you; some are divorce attorneys and others are not. If you choose to use a divorce mediator or divorce mediation service that is not a licensed, practicing divorce attorney, you might want to have a divorce attorney look over your final divorce agreement to be sure you are each protected under New York State law. Only a divorce attorney practicing in the Nassau County and Suffolk County courts is likely to be thoroughly familiar with the latest developments in the law and have the experience to know the best way to protect you in your final divorce agreement.
Contact Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. P.C. for a Free Consultation
To learn more about Divorce Mediators on Long Island and how they can save you time, money and stress, visit this page: Divorce Mediator Long Island | Nassau County & Suffolk County. The Long Island divorce mediators at Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. are practicing divorce attorneys in Nassau County and Suffolk County, NY. While we recommend divorce mediation for our clients for whom this is the best solution, we litigate divorce regularly and are therefore familiar with the ins-and-outs of the court system and the latest developments in divorce law. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 for a free consultation. We’ll discuss the specifics of your case and let you know if you and your spouse are good candidates for divorce mediation or another method of divorce resolution or an alternative resolution method.