Experienced Legal Help With Divorce Mediation In NY & CT
If you’re considering ending your marriage, there are a few ways you can go about doing so. Divorce mediation in NY and CT is one way that you can reduce conflict in your divorce and help the process of dissolving your marriage go more smoothly. Understanding mediation and its benefits is an important first step. Here’s what you need to know.
The Definition of Mediation
Divorce mediation is essentially a negotiation meeting in which you and your spouse discuss how you will divide property, who will have primary custody of the children, and all other related legal matters. You and your spouse will meet with a neutral third-party called a mediator, who is a professional trained in helping divorcing couples reach an amicable settlement.
It’s important to note that your mediator cannot offer you legal advice in the same way a private divorce lawyer will. They cannot tell you what will or will not be in your best interests, nor can they make any of the decisions for you. They are simply there to facilitate healthy communication between you and your spouse while you deliberate on the outcome of your divorce.
Benefits of Mediation Compared to Divorce
There are a number of benefits for divorcing families who choose to dissolve their marriages through the process of mediation:
- Lower cost. Mediation almost always costs less than a traditional divorce, which can be costly, especially if your spouse contests the divorce or any aspect of it.
- Less time. On average, mediation takes significantly less time than a litigated divorce, which in some cases may drag on for months or even years.
- More privacy. Mediation is entirely confidential and no public records are made of your time in mediation. The same cannot be said of the divorce process, especially if you make it to trial.
- More control. Mediation allows both you and your spouse to have more control over the dissolution of your marriage than if you had to submit to the will of a divorce court.
- Less stressful. If you have children, mediation is an excellent way to shield them from the emotional turmoil of a messy divorce. Even if you don’t have kids, mediation can reduce your stress too.
- More freedom. During mediation, you and your spouse have the freedom to discuss different potential solutions to family legal matters like child custody and alimony. It’s often easier for couples to find flexible resolutions that work for them during mediation than under the rigid and impersonal rules of divorce litigation.
- Learn to resolve conflicts. Mediation can help you and your spouse learn how to negotiate and solve problems together. This is particularly important if you and your spouse have children together.
- You can still litigate your divorce. If you begin with litigation, you cannot go back later and try to mediate your divorce instead. However, you can do the reverse. If mediation is unsuccessful, then you and your spouse will proceed to litigation.
Who Shouldn’t Mediate Their Divorce?
There are some situations in which you may not want to mediate your divorce or doing so would not be in the best interests of you and/or your children:
- Divorces involving domestic violence. If you and/or your children are actively suffering domestic violence, mediation is off the table. If your spouse has been violent in the past, it’s important to consider mediation carefully before going ahead with it. Make sure your mediator will take the case, since some exclude cases involving DV or child abuse.
- One spouse wants to put off the divorce. You shouldn’t choose mediation if your spouse wants to delay getting the divorce. It’s easier to abuse the process since a mediator cannot compel you to make a decision.
- One spouse has hired a divorce attorney. You can still mediate your divorce if your spouse hires a lawyer, but you should only do this after you also hire your own legal representation.
- You are filing a fault divorce. Successfully mediating your divorce is much less likely if you or your spouse are legally at fault for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
- Your divorce is contested. If either of you disagree on any aspect of your divorce, you will not be able to mediate. You will need to pursue litigation for at least this matter.
Get Help With Your Divorce Mediation In NY & CT From Veteran Divorce Lawyer Heidi Opinsky
Heidi Opinsky is a seasoned divorce lawyer with extensive experience in mediation. Attorney Opinsky can provide you with the legal advice and guidance you need for the challenges ahead. Call now for your consultation by dialing 203-653-3542.