As attorneys and the public continue to become more and more familiar with the Alternative Dispute Resolution process of mediation, the many advantages it offers over traditional divorce, as well as some of the disadvantages, are becoming clearer and clearer.
When it comes to deciding whether or not mediation, some other ADR method, or a more traditional divorce is right for you and your family in order to resolve your divorce and its related issue of child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division, here are the main advantages, and disadvantages, that mediation has to offer.
Chatham Divorce Mediation Attorneys Discuss the Advantages of Mediation
There are several very strong reasons why many people choose to mediate their divorce, rather than litigate it in court. These benefits of divorce mediation include:
- Privacy - Since the divorce mediation takes place outside of the court system (in which a public record is kept of all proceedings), anything that is discussed with your divorce mediator during the mediation process is kept completely private and outside of the public record.
- Monetary Savings - Most mediations involve hiring only a single attorney (known as the 'mediator'), thereby reducing the expense of both parties having to hire legal representation during divorce. In addition, since mediation is entered into with the express goal of reaching fair compromises rather than fighting over every last advantage or dollar, this focus on finding middle ground agreements can also save a great deal of money.
- Reduced Stress - Similar to the last point made above, since mediation focuses on finding fair compromises, and does so in a much more informal setting as opposed to in a courtroom, mediation tends to be a much less stressful process than more traditionally litigated divorces.
- Reduced Timeline - Finally, mediation happens at whatever pace the parties feel works for them. This, combined with the fact that court dates do not have to be requested and then waited for (since mediation happens usually in the office of your divorce mediator), many mediations can be resolved much more quickly than a more traditional divorce.
Clearly, there are a number of significant advantages that the mediation process offers, and it is no surprise that many divorcing couples now resolve their divorce and its related issues through mediation rather than in a court of law.
However, like most things in life, there are some disadvantages to divorce mediation, and if you are considering mediating your divorce or are beginning the divorce process, it is important that you are aware of these disadvantages so that you can make a more informed choice when it comes to deciding how you would like to resolve your divorce.
Mendham Divorce Lawyers Discuss the Disadvantages of Mediation
If you are considering mediation as a way to resolve your divorce and its related issue of child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division, then it is important that you are aware of some of the drawbacks and potential disadvantages mediation can also present.
Firstly, a successful mediation will require that both parties be entirely committed to the process. It is often the case that one person wishes to pursue divorce mediation, and their partner "goes along" with the idea initially, but then soon comes to realize that mediation will not work for them. This is common in situations where one spouse is historically much more bossy or dominant, and when this is the case mediation may not be the best option for their partner as their divorce mediator by nature will have to remain neutral, and the more submissive party may not really be afforded the representation or voice that they need to express and secure what they want.
Secondly, since mediation takes place outside of the courts, a very high level of trust and honestly needs to be in place between the party pursuing mediation. This is because:
- Neither party will have individual legal representation, a divorce mediator cannot really tell one party or the other that the agreement they are signing isn't fair to them. This means that both parties will need to trust that their partner is not trying to take advantage of them, that they simply both want to resolve their divorce in as peaceful, amicable, and efficient manner as possible.
- Financial information cannot be compelled to be shared like it can be during a traditional divorce. This means that both parties need to trust that the other is sharing accurate, and full, financial information regarding a marriage's various assets and debts as well as their individual assets and debts. If you have any reason to believe your spouse may try to hide assets in order to pay less in alimony, child support, or to secure a more favorable distribution of assets agreement, mediation most likely is not the best option for you.
Finally, should you enter into mediation, and after some time you or your partner decide that you would instead prefer to decide your divorce in court, while you are certainly within your rights to do so, it is important that you know that your divorce mediator legally cannot represent either of parties afterwards in a court of law, and that any and all agreements you have thus far reached will need to be rehashed once you have both secured new legal representation.
Contact A Morris County Divorce and Mediation Law Firm Today
At Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients as both divorce mediators as well as divorce attorneys in towns across New Jersey and Morris County, including Chatham, Mendham, Chester, Harding, Florham Park, Mt. Olive, and Morristown.
This experience acting as both mediators as well as individual legal representatives allows us to have a clear understanding of when and how mediation can be of enormous benefit to a couple, and when negotiation and litigation may be the better option.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your options for exactly how you may want to resolve your divorce, and how exactly we can help you and your family in whatever manner you ultimately choose, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 975-4043.