The first step in any divorce is one or both spouses deciding that the marriage is over. After that, there are several paths you might take to reach your goal. Traditional divorce is one option, but many people are understandably concerned about going through a long, often combative process. While most divorces settle, it is still a civil court case that in the most contentious cases, has to go to trial.
Instead of fighting it out with your spouse about everything from child custody to who gets to keep the living room television, you may be able to try divorce mediation.
Mediation is a popular form of alternative dispute resolution. Unlike a lawsuit, the goal in mediation is for the two sides to work together to settle their differences, with the help of a mediator. The mediator is a neutral third party who is experienced in the relevant area of law — New Jersey divorce law in this case. Their job is to act as a go-between for you and your ex to help negotiations proceed and create an atmosphere of collaboration and good faith.
The benefits of using divorce mediation
Successful divorce mediation can have three benefits. One is that it can wrap up your divorce more quickly and with significantly less expense than if you had gone through traditional divorce. The other is that it can give you and your ex a sense of control over the process, which could help make sure both of you adhere to your obligations long-term.
Finally, while emotions are probably running high right now, mediation can help you keep from reopening old wounds. If you can work together successfully, it can be a basis for a cordial relationship post-divorce. This is important if you have children together and will need to be co-parents.
Is divorce mediation right for you?
Mediation does not always work, especially if you and your spouse are unable to sit in a room together and negotiate terms without anger and emotion taking over. But if you think divorce mediation would be a good fit for you, you should discuss it with your divorce attorney.