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Top 10 Myths About Mediators
Whether you've been doing your homework and are an expert on mediation or if you aren't sure what mediation is, below is a list of common myths about mediators to help you understand my role in the process and about mediators in general.
Myth 1: Since my spouse first made contact with you, you're "their mediator" and will take their side.
Fact: Absolutely not. My professional reputation and success depends on my ability to be a neutral third party. As an Accredited Professional Mediator I am bound by the law and a code of ethics to remain neutral throughout all proceedings.
Myth 2: If I refuse to go to mediation, the divorce will just go away.
Fact: The divorce will not go away but rather take an ugly turn as you'll both be forced to get attorneys and litigate. If one party wants a divorce then you will both be getting a divorce.
Myth 3: My spouse needs my permission to get a divorce.
Fact: While it takes two people to get married in the State of New Jersey, it only takes one to file for divorce. It simply becomes a question of whether you litigate and spend $180,000 or mediate and spend $5,000 on your divorce. Your choice but at the end of the day you will be divorced.
Myth 4: All mediators have to be attorneys.
Fact: Mediators do not have to be attorneys but some are. Some of the best mediators come from backgrounds other than law such as finance, which is my background.
Myth 5: Attorneys make better mediators than non-attorneys.
Fact: Untrue. Many attorney-mediators have difficulty remaining neutral as their training is to get the best result for one party instead of both and that's not mediating, it's litigating.
Myth 6: A mediator can give me advice and tell me what to do.
Fact: Untrue, even if they're attorney-mediator. We provide each of you with the relevant legal information necessary to make an informed decision you each agree is fair and equitable.
Myth 7: I'll still need an attorney if I use mediation.
Fact: You do not have to retain an attorney if you use mediation, although some clients choose to.
Myth 8: If my mediator is also a lawyer, if mediation doesn't work out they can represent me in court.
Fact: While not explicitly illegal, it's considered an extremely unethical practice and frowned upon by those in the mediation community.
Myth 9: Attorney-mediators know the law better than non attorney-mediators.
Fact: All mediators go through the same training and must know the same laws regardless of their professional background.
Myth 10: By using a mediator who is also an attorney, I'll get a better result.
Fact: Provided you hire a competent Accredited Professional Mediator, you'll get the same result regardless of the mediator's professional background.
In order for permanent alimony to be awarded in New Jersey, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and one spouse must have become economically dependent on the other. This type of alimony allows the obligee to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed for the duration of the obligor's lifetime (unless the obligee remarries).
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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