Mediation is a viable alternative dispute resolution method that too many people overlook when considering divorce in New Jersey. People often assume that a court battle is the only way to resolve their issues, but divorce is not a winner-take-all process. Instead, it involves a series of compromises. In mediation, divorcing spouses can at least choose where to compromise instead of having a judge make those choices on their behalf.
Mediation involves having divorcing spouses negotiate with one another instead of going to court to settle their own property division and custody disputes. Although some people question whether mediation would be beneficial in their case, the current situation in New Jersey will likely lead to more divorcing couples to consider this alternative dispute resolution system. After all, the closure of family and civil courts in six counties has broad-reaching implications for the people living in those areas.
Mediation helps when litigation isn’t an option
For most people, mediation is a choice because they want to have control over their divorce decree or they don’t want to air their dirty laundry in the family courts. For those in counties where there are currently no available family law hearings, mediation may be the only way to move forward with a divorce.
Couples that require a judge’s time may have to wait for months before scheduling a hearing will even be an option, and then, there will likely be a significant backlog of cases for the courts to process. Mediation helps couples sidestep the family court logjam by settling everything outside of court.
Those who sign a settlement after mediation can potentially file for an uncontested divorce, which does not require anything from a judge other than review and approval. Even couples in counties that still have enough judges to host litigated divorce proceedings will likely benefit from attempting mediation to resolve their disagreements.
Many couples find that mediation is faster and more cost-effective than litigation, in addition to being more private. It can also help a couple to begin rebuilding their relationship, which can be very important if they will be co-parenting after their divorce. Exploring mediation and other litigation alternatives can benefit those who are contemplating the end of their marriages in New Jersey.