While the concept of mediation may seem relatively new, people have understood the benefits of mediation for centuries. Mediation has continued to evolve as the best method of dispute resolution and below you will find what I think are just a few of the benefits of mediation.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation include:
Better for the Children - Your responsibility as parents will continue into the indefinite future regardless of your martial status. Divorce Mediation keeps both parties focused on the issues that matter most to the children and avoids putting them in the middle of your divorce and using them as pawns.
Better for your Relationship - Because Divorce Mediation is non-adversarial, the mediator helps participants maintain a constructive relationship throughout the process and eliminates the painful "win-lose" atmosphere of traditional attorney-driven divorces.
Better Long-term Success - Research has shown that 50% of court-ordered child support is not being adhered to one year later while 85% of mediated child support is. Additionally, children of parents who engaged in divorce mediation had significantly fewer behavioral problems and markedly better relationships with both parents over a 20-year period than those children whose parents litigated.
Completely Confidential - Divorce is a family matter and the issues faced by divorcing couples are better solved in private, not in a courtroom as a matter of public record in front of total strangers.
Completely Neutral - Your divorce mediator has both of your interests in mind and works for each of you. We represent neither of you but advocate for both and our only interest as a mediator is to reach a fair and equitable settlement that works for both of you.
Less Stressful - As the mediation process puts you both in control of your own destinies, all the decisions are yours. You will not spend your time worrying about what will be decided for you by the courts, a judge or your attorney. No one will be pressuring you to come to a decision and force you to agree to something you're not quite sure is good for you.
Lower Cost - Because you are sharing one professional mediator instead of two attorneys, most people who use a mediator save substantial amounts of money on their divorce. Studies have shown that mediated divorces produce the exact same results and cost as much as two to ten times less than a divorce that goes to trial.
More Efficient - Since Divorce Mediation takes place face-to-face, you are making decisions in less time than it would take in the adversarial legal system, helping you both move forward with your lives in less time.
You're Better Informed - Your mediator will take extra care to explain everything in as much detail as possible and bring in subject matter experts should you need additional guidance. It is a mediator's goal to watch out for both of your well-being and ensure that each of you is well-informed.
In New Jersey, a separation agreement is any legal document signed by both spouses outlining the terms of the separation. Subjects resolved in a separation agreement can include child support, child custody, debt allocation and asset distribution. Notarizing the document ensures its validity, since there is no such case-type in New Jersey that provides for a "legal separation." Spouses wanting child support during the separation period, however, must file a claim with the New Jersey probation department.
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Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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