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Mediation is How to Get a Divorce in New Jersey

As the owner and lead mediator of a New Jersey divorce mediation practice I can tell you based on the calls I receive that there is much confusion out there as to the best way to proceed with your divorce. Then there are those who call and are aware that divorce mediation is an option but think that a New Jersey divorce mediator (like an attorney) can be an advocate for one party or that party can come speak with me individually so I can learn more about their case (untrue).

Last we have those who have educated themselves about the divorce mediation process and understand that divorce mediation is a true collaborative divorce process in which both parties work together to come to an agreement that works for each of them and their children, when applicable. But no matter where you stand on the education spectrum, the fact that you are reading this article tells me that you may be an excellent candidate for divorce mediation. You see, the one thing that each of the client has in common is a willingness to bypass the adversarial legal system and use a New Jersey divorce mediator to help them peacefully and amicably work through the four major tenants of their divorce:

  • parenting plans
  • equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities
  • child support and
  • spousal support formerly known as alimony

Does that mean mediation is the path forward for all couples on how to get a divorce in New Jersey?

Sadly, no. There will always be that one or two percent of the people who no matter how much you explain to them that their result in mediation is going to be superior to that of a result dragged through the adversarial legal system and watered down by warring lawyers taking sides and entrenching in their positions, will want to take their chances and go to court. I guess it must be nice to have such a life that allows them to spend unlimited amounts of money and time to get a result that is less superior than to one that was mediated but alas, that is not my decision to make for them. But if you're like most couples seeking a divorce in New Jersey and want a say in determining your future, please consider using a mediator as they will do their best to help you and your spouse come to agreements on each of the four main areas of divorce listed above and draft a Memorandum of Understanding that represents your goals and wishes for your future. Not those of your attorneys, not those of a judge and not those of the courts. After all, it is your divorce, isn't it?

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New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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