Rings with decree of divorce and judge gavel on table

Somerset Divorce Mediators

Mediation is a voluntary process that enables two or more people to make decisions and reach a fair and equitable settlement by using an impartial person to resolve a dispute or conflict. A mediator is a trained professional who assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. Mediators are impartial, neutral, and unbiased. Contact us today to speak with our team of seasoned Somerset divorce mediators about whether mediation may be right for you.

Divorce Mediators: Helping Couples Reach Amicable Settlements

We believe many couples and families can benefit from mediation at the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon. Mediation allows you to take control of contested issues and design workable outcomes in a neutral setting.

Mediation offers a low-cost resolution to your case with the satisfaction of having a voice in your destiny. Additionally, mediation is typically a quick process. Often, a settlement may be reached after two to five one-hour sessions. Through mediation, divorce, and family law matters can be negotiated through settlement, which can be implemented realistically and amicably. If mediation is a promising alternative to litigated divorce, speak with our Somerset County family lawyers today.

The Mediation Process

The mediation process begins either with a request by the parties or a Court Order. In New Jersey, the parties must attempt mediation to settle issues before a trial can be set. The Court, however, cannot refer parties to mediation if there is a significant history of spouse abuse or domestic violence that would affect the mediation process.

As a neutral and objective participant, the mediator plays an active role in the mediation process. The mediator helps identify issues, develop bargaining proposals, and conduct negotiations to come to a settlement that meets the family’s needs. The mediator clarifies and organizes details, prompts discussion and cooperative communication, and manages conflict.

The parties meet with the mediator and may attend with or without legal counsel. The mediator will encourage the parties to speak freely and to vent their feelings to the extent that it is productive. The mediator maintains a sense of decorum, preventing interruptions and ensuring the parties hear and understand each other’s communications.

The mediator will then identify what she sees as the hurdles to be addressed, and negotiations will begin. Once the parties reach an agreement, the mediator prepares a memorandum of understanding for them to sign.

Following the mediation process, clients arrange for an attorney or other qualified persons to prepare a settlement agreement based on the memorandum of understanding. Each party is urged to seek independent legal counsel to review the agreement. The parties may also need an attorney to assist them with filing the complaint for divorce and representing them at the final divorce hearing.

Advantages of Mediation

There are several potential advantages of mediated divorce over litigated divorce. Mediation:

  • Maintains relationships by minimizing the potentially traumatic emotional and psychological effects of the adversarial process
  • Provides an opportunity for cooperation between the parties
  • Takes less time
  • Saves money
  • Provides the parties with the tools to structure an agreement in their and their children’s best interests
  • Helps with the exchange of information, ideas, and alternatives leading to a settlement
  • Results in an agreement with which the parties are more likely to comply
  • The parties retain control
  • All discussions are confidential and cannot be used against either party at trial

Goals of Mediation

Some of the goals for successful mediation are as follows:

  • To help the parties reach their own acceptable agreement by fully exploring all choices
  • To avoid the need for a court-imposed decision
  • To prepare the parties to anticipate, work through, and resolve disagreements that might arise
  • To reduce anxiety and the negative effects of going to court

Cost of Mediation

The mediator’s fee is usually quoted on an hourly basis and both parties normally share in the expenses. There are no retainer fees and mediation fees are paid at the end of each session. The parties, therefore, maintain control over how much they will spend on mediation fees. Mediation frequently is less expensive, both financially and emotionally, than traditional litigation.

This is true even if both parties decide to retain separate attorneys to review the memorandum of understanding, file the complaint for divorce, prepare a marital settlement agreement, and represent them at the final divorce hearing.

Contact Our Somerset, NJ Divorce Mediators

The divorce mediators at the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon have extensive experience settling divorce and family law matters in New Jersey. If you have additional questions about the process or you wish to speak with a seasoned New Jersey divorce mediator, please don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon today.

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