Divorce Mediation Attorneys
Mediation is quickly becoming one of the most popular alternative divorce methods in New Jersey. Owing to the fact that the mediation process takes place in the privacy of your mediator’s office in a much more informal setting than a courtroom, mediation offers many advantages over traditional court-decided divorces, including being less time-consuming, less expensive, more private, and generally much less contentious.
However, every law firm has a different approach and methodology when it comes to the mediation process. At Jacobs Berger, our creative approach to conflict resolution, our network of mental health services and financial advisers and planners, and our focus on creating long-term foundations for healthy and successful futures all work together especially well when it comes to the divorce mediation process.
With extensive experience helping clients across Florham Park, Madison, Randolph, Hanover, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area to resolve their divorce through our unique approach to mediation, we are ideally suited to helping you resolve your divorce in a much more constructive and effective manner.
Contact our firm to discuss your options for divorce mediation, and to learn more about how our firm can and will help you through this process in a thorough and confidential Strategic Planning Session today.
First Steps when Beginning a Divorce Mediation
Before beginning the divorce mediation process, several important decisions will need to be made. First and foremost, you will discuss with our divorce mediator whether or not mediation can actually work for you and your divorce. While no divorcing couple will ever initially agree on exactly how to resolve the key divorce issues of marital asset division, child custody, child support, and spousal support, in order for mediation to be successful, you do both need to agree that your goal is to find fair compromises, rather than fight for the most favorable settlements possible. If you and your spouse are willing to work to find middle-ground compromises, then mediation can work for you, and you are ready to begin the mediation process.
Following this, we will discuss with you how our mediation process works, and how the process is voluntary and non-binding until both parties sign a final Memorandum of Understanding. If at any point one party decides that the mediation process is not working for them, and that they would rather litigate their divorce in court, they are well within their rights to do so. However, as your mediation attorney, we cannot legally represent either party in court should this become the case.
Once you and your spouse have the best possible understanding of how mediation works, and how our attorneys will handle the mediation process itself, you are ready to begin mediating your divorce.
The Mediation Process
The first thing that will need to be done now that the mediation process has begun is for both parties to clearly communicate their position, needs, and concerns for their divorce and their related issues to each other, and to our divorce mediator. In order to begin negotiating, both parties and our divorce mediator will need to know where each individual stands, and the resolutions they hope to achieve.
Having this understanding will allow us to create together a mediation schedule. As the mediation process is voluntary, it is up to the divorcing couple to decide when they will meet with our divorce mediator. Your mediation attorney can provide you with a recommendation for how often they believe you should meet in order to resolve your divorce in the time-frame that makes sense for you, and this can vary based on how easy, or how difficult, your mediation attorney believes it will be to find the solutions that will work for both parties. Of course, the final decision is up to you and your spouse, and may depend much on your work schedules and availability, however you can rest assured that our attorneys are flexible, and willing to work around your busy schedule.
At each mediation session, your attorney will update a document known as a “Memorandum of Understanding”. This document will outline both party’s positions and concerns, what exactly was discussed in each mediation session, and the agreements and understandings you have reached thus far. Following each mediation session, our mediator will provide both parties with a copy of this updated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and as issues are decided and resolved, your MoU will be become closer and closer to being the final agreement you submit to the courts as a Marital Settlement Agreement.
Our firm focuses not only on providing you with sage and effective legal guidance and counsel, but also ensuring that your financial futures are well protected, and that you have the emotional support often needed during a process as difficult as divorce can be, even when mediated. We understand that divorce is not a one-dimensional process, and as such, we are prepared to provide you with trusted and effective third-party services. While we work on resolving the legal aspects of your divorce mediation, our network of financial planners and mental health services can work to provide you with the additional support, advice, and understandings often necessary during any divorce.
Finalizing Your Morris County Divorce through Mediation
While our divorce mediators fundamentally cannot take sides during your negotiations, by acting as a neutral third party, we can help you to express your specific needs and concerns in any matter without fear of judgement, and work with both sides to find solutions which protect both party’s interests. Remember, the goal of mediation is not to secure the most favorable possible resolution at the expense of your spouse, rather it is to reach agreements which are fair to both sides, and which work towards helping each party to secure the building blocks of successful legal, financial, and parental futures.
Once all of the issues have been decided in a manner that both parties find acceptable, fair, and equitable, your Memorandum of Understanding will be submitted to the courts as a final Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), and will be placed on an expedited track for review and approval due to it being the result of the mediation process. Before finalizing your MSA, a judge will want to interview both parties in order to ensure that they are satisfied with the agreements outlined in the MSA. If the judge finds this to be the case, they will approve your MSA as final and binding, your divorce will be granted according to the terms of your MSA, and you will now legally be divorced as a result of the mediation process.
While it is our goal to ensure that all of the terms outlined in your MSA are fair, and accurately reflect both party’s needs and situations, it is always possible that these situations change after the divorce is finalized. Many times these changes in circumstance can call for a modification of your marital settlement agreement, and if your MSA no longer reflects your family’s circumstances, our attorneys can assist you through any kind of order modification process.
Contact Our Divorce Mediators Today
At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Madison, Randolph, Florham Park, Hanover, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area to resolve their divorce in many different manners, including mediation and arbitration.
Our unique approach to conflict resolution focuses on finding solutions which ensure the stability of the families involved, rather than over-litigating matters and sowing strife and resentment, costing families precious relationships and resources needed to protect their futures, and the futures of their children.
For more information regarding the mediation process, how our divorce mediators can specifically help you, or whether or not mediation makes sense for your divorce, contact our firm to discuss your unique situation in a comprehensive and confidential Strategic Planning Session. To schedule your SPS with our attorneys today, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 710-4366.