What Is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that allows parties to meet outside of court to discuss their issues and attempt to come to an agreement on those issues with the help of a third-party neutral (the mediator).
What Is a Mediator?
A family law mediator is a neutral third party who meets with both parties of a dispute to discuss the issues of that dispute and attempt to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. In some cases, the mediator will meet with both parties in the same room. In other cases, he or she will meet with the parties in separate rooms and travel between the rooms to help the parties come to an agreement.
How Long Does Family Law Mediation Take?
On average, mediation sessions last a couple of hours. The number of mediation sessions you will need to come to an agreement will depend on the number of issues and disagreements in your case. If you and your spouse can agree on many of the issues in your divorce, for example, your divorce mediation will be relatively quick and inexpensive.
How Much Does Mediation Cost?
The cost of mediation will depend on a number of factors, including the mediator you hire and the number of sessions you need to come to an agreement on all of the issues in your divorce or family law case.
Can My Mediator Be My Attorney?
Because a mediator must stay impartial, your attorney cannot act as your mediator and your mediator cannot become your attorney for the same divorce case. You can, however, bring your attorney to your mediation sessions.
Is Mediation Required in a New Jersey Divorce?
Under New Jersey mediation laws, a Superior Court may order parties to attend mediation at any time after a complaint is filed. When you are required to attend mediation, the judge will select a mediator for you; however, you will have two weeks to select a different mediator should you and the opposing party decide upon another person.
Is My Mediated Agreement Enforceable?
Yes. Even though the mediation process itself is nonbinding, the settlement agreement you sign as a result of mediation is enforceable. In divorce cases, once you have a signed agreement, you will only need to make one court appearance of the court to enter a Judgment of Divorce.
Does Mediation Work for Complex Divorces?
Yes. Mediation can be a good option for couples with complex divorces who want to take a cooperative approach to their divorce. In some cases, it may be necessary to seek the help of financial and other experts during mediation.
Who Should I Hire for My Family Law Mediator/Mediation Lawyer?
To learn about choosing the right mediator for your case, please visit our page on the topic by clicking here.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C., in Morristown, New Jersey, our mediation team is comprised of family law attorneys and mediators Dominic A. Tomaio and Laurie L. Newmark. Both Mr. Tomaio and Ms. Newmark have more than 32 years of combined experience and have helped numerous couples find neutrally beneficial agreements that have lasted for years.