Any type of family law dispute is typically highly fact specific, as well as emotionally charged. Allowing parties an avenue to create a settlement agreement that is custom tailored to their family and situation is often an optimal solution to bringing a contentious, drawn out process to a quicker end. Mediation is the way this is often done in family law cases. The process can be instrumental in minimizing animosity, and helping to smooth the way to a settlement.
Mediation is a process in which the parties will meet with a neutral third party, in order to try to find middle ground and settle their disputes. The neutral third party is the mediator. Under New Jersey law, a mediator does not have to be a lawyer, but this is typically the case. The mediator does not represent either party, and will not force you to enter a settlement agreement. Rather, the mediator’s role is to help guide you through the potential issues and help you find middle ground. The mediator may be able to provide some guidance or insight as to what a court may be likely to do or how it will rule. However, the mediator will not provide either party with legal advice, as that is the role of your attorney. Before you attend mediation, make sure you discuss your case with your attorney, and know which issues are the most important to you. It’s beneficial to know before you arrive where you will and will not compromise.
There are many advantages to mediation. First is that it can help you reach a conclusion to your dispute quickly. Family law disputes can be drawn out proceedings requiring many court appearances. By reaching a settlement in mediation, you can help reduce that time. Second, reaching a settlement in mediation can help greatly cut down on your legal fees. Finally, and most importantly, mediation is a way for you and the other side to create a custom agreement. Without a doubt, you are much better acquainted with the nuances of your case than a judge would be. It makes more sense for you to retain as much control over your issues as possible, as this lets you craft the perfect solution. This is especially true in custody cases. Each child and family has its own dynamic and own personality. Settling in mediation lets you and the other parent take your child’s individuality into account when deciding on a parenting schedule.
Mediation can be an important tool in divorce or in almost any other family law case. We have experience in guiding our clients through this process, and in helping make custom solutions to the issues that are specific to your family.