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Court-Mandated Mediation in New Jersey | What to Know

When you are getting divorced, you will have to decide whether you want to settle your divorce inside or outside of the court. You can choose to partake in litigation, in which a judge will determine the matters of your divorce. Another option you may have is to participate in mediation or a collaborative divorce. In some cases, mediation will be court-ordered. Read on to learn more about court-ordered mediation, what it entails, and what you can expect.

What is Mediation?

Mediation involves an unbiased third party helping a couple work through various matters of their divorce or other family law issues. Generally, this is a voluntary process that parties can choose to engage in. However, there are cases in which the court will mandate that couples enter into mediation to resolve their divorce or family law issues. Mediation can be used to resolve matters of divorce, as well as matters of custody, child support, alimony, and more. 

Is Court-Ordered Mediation Expensive?

It is important to note that court-mandated mediation does not have any associated costs or charges. It is also a confidential and non-binding process. This means that when both parties reach agreements, the mediator can outline the terms to be reviewed by both parties and their attorneys. This must be formalized into a Consent Order by being signed by both parties, their attorneys, and the judge. Once this takes place, the agreement can become an enforceable court order.

What is the Process of Mediation?

During mediation, a third-party mediator will attempt to help you and your spouse find creative solutions to your issues. The goal is to come to an agreement that works well for both parties. When agreements are made, the mediator can send an outline of the terms to each party’s attorney in a document known as the “Memorandum of Understanding.” The document can be formalized into a Consent Order when it is signed by both parties, their attorneys, and the judge. This is when it becomes fully enforceable. This agreement can become the marital settlement agreement or property settlement agreement. Mediation can be a difficult process, so it is best to find an experienced attorney to help you through the process.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding court-ordered mediation, contact our firm today to speak with an experienced and dedicated attorney. Our firm is here to advocate for you and walk you through the process each step of the way.


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.