The Power of Mediation in a Divorce Process – Even if you don’t settle
Sea Girt Mediation Attorneys Discuss the Value of the Process No Matter the Outcome
Family Law Attorneys and Mediation Attorneys Helping Clients in towns throughout Ocean and Monmouth Counties
During a divorce, tensions are very often high. The emotional tensions that often run between partners and the pure logistics of potential settlement, including all related factors such as child custody – decisions that impact the future well-being of your family – can feel overwhelming and like too much to juggle. Even expertly navigated, divorce has many emotional ramifications. For this reason, couples often resist the suggestion of mediation, either because they believe that it will have no real positive effect, or because the emotional toll it will take is too much to handle.
Despite natural resistance to the concept of mediation, it is important to consider the benefits of it as a tool for a deeper understanding of one’s own and one’s partner’s needs and priorities. It may also provide invaluable information that can be used to expertly navigate the divorce proceedings and ensure that decisions that are of the highest benefit to everyone involved are made, absent of any emotional manipulation that can often color such a process. The American Psychology Association has conducted ample research and reported the conclusion that mediation is a powerful ally to support psychological well-being for all parties during a divorce.
The main issues usually addressed during mediation are child custody and support, distribution of property, retirement savings, and taxes; and with the facilitated support of a mediator as opposed to a litigator, steps can be taken toward an agreement on all of those fronts.
Why consider mediation during a divorce:
As you and your loved ones navigate the terrain of legal separation, consider the following reasons to include mediation as a tool for amicable and informed divorce.
- At its core, mediation provides couples the opportunity to speak their truths.
- This means that you may learn aspects at the root of your partner’s issues that you weren’t before able to clearly see.
- Invoicing your own reason for divorce, you may find clarity regarding issues that may inform the settlement offer.
- You may learn what is important to your partner as it relates to the settlement.
- Your partner may propose a settlement during the mediation as a result of new information and understanding that comes through or the meeting on amicable terms. Even if it is not a settlement you would agree to, it can serve as a grounded starting point from which to further negotiate.
- You may receive information regarding the legal basis for your partner’s claim.
- This may provide powerful insight towards a fair settlement agreement.
- This may support you in developing a strong defense in court.
- Mediation may save you money. The average cost of a mediator is $300/hour, while litigation is an average of $300-350 per hour (per person).
The Duncumb Center for Conflict Resolution at the Abilene Christian University conducted a study regarding the effects of mediation during a divorce proceeding. Lead researcher Lori Shaw noted that the study found an average cost savings of about $680 when mediation was engaged as opposed to traditional litigation. There was also a time savings of between two and four months when mediation was involved.
As one can imagine, mediation can also have powerful effects on child custody agreements. The Duncumb Center study found that more joint legal custody awards were made in mediation than litigation, a powerful argument for mediation in consideration of your whole family’s health and well-being.
Some statistics show that mediation leads to an agreement in 50-80 percent of cases. Even if an agreement isn’t reached, valuable information can be ascertained and an important connection made as a separating couple.
Contact Us Today for a Consultation to Discuss Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Peter J. Bronzino, our founding attorney has extensive experience helping to separate parents across Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey come to an amicable divorce agreement, including mediation services, drafting divorce agreements and negotiating with a partner’s attorneys, and drafting comprehensive child support agreements.
Our unique approach focuses on finding solutions that ensure the wellbeing of all parties and the stability of the family for an amicable and cost-effective divorce.