What couples ARE good candidates for Divorce mediation?
Last summer we posted a blog describing what types of couples are NOT good candidates for mediation. As that post correctly pointed out, mediation may not be right for every couple at every point in time. But even if mediation did not seem right at some earlier point, because emotions were too high or the issues too complex, things may have calmed down and the dust settled somewhat since then. Maybe you have started litigating your divorce and have already received financial and other information through discovery requests and court-ordered disclosures. You may see now that you are not as far apart as you initially thought on important issues. Certain qualities and situations can make one a good candidate for divorce mediation.
Divorce Mediation Qualities
Just because you didn’t start off with mediation doesn’t mean you can’t still try it. All it takes is to agree to enter mediation with an open mind – a willingness to sit down and listen to the other side, and to share your interests as well, with a focus more on your overall needs and less so on any one particular position. Your relationship with your spouse may change after a divorce, but it may still exist in some form for some time. And if you are co-parents during marriage, you will always be co-parents even after you divorce. When available and appropriate, mediation is one way to resolve outstanding issues in a divorce without causing further damage to an already deteriorated relationship.
How Do You Choose a Mediator For Your New Jersey Divorce?
Both spouses in a New Jersey divorce need to be represented by their own attorney, and this fact does not change if you agree to mediation. If each spouse has retained an experienced New Jersey family law attorney, the attorneys likely know a number of family law mediators whom they have worked with in the past. The parties through their attorneys may be able to agree on a mediator everyone trusts to mediate the divorce knowledgeably, skillfully and fairly. If you cannot agree on a mediator, both parties and their attorneys can submit names of proposed mediators to create one master list, and each party can take turns striking names off the list until only one mediator is left. You must be thinking at this point, okay, but who gets to strike first? Well, you can toss a coin to decide who picks first – one person tosses the coin and the other person calls heads or tails. What could be fairer?
Now you might be thinking, if it takes this much effort just to pick the mediator, maybe the parties aren’t really ready to mediate their divorce. Perhaps, but another way to look at it is that even though it was difficult, the parties ultimately succeeded in choosing a mediator. Now, before the mediation has even begun, they have succeeded in coming together and making a decision on an important point; more collaborative decisions can’t be far behind. Despite all the virtues mediation has to offer, nobody said it was going to be easy. What mediation does is establish a framework and process within which the parties can work together, with the help of their attorneys and the mediator. Finding an objective method to choose the mediator is just the first example of how having a process in place can facilitate even difficult decision-making.
For help with your New Jersey divorce, including a discussion about whether mediation is right for you in your particular case, call the Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro in Union at 908-964-0102 to speak with an experienced and dedicated New Jersey family law and divorce lawyer.