Mediation is a voluntary process that enables two or more people to make decisions and reach a fair and equitable settlement through the use of an impartial person to resolve a dispute or conflict. A mediator is a trained professional who assists the parties to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. Mediators are impartial, neutral and unbiased. Attorney Hebbon is trained as a divorce and family law mediator. She believes many couples and families would benefit from the mediation process. Mediation allows you to take control of your own issues and to participate in designing workable outcomes in a neutral setting. Mediation offers a low cost resolution to your case with the satisfaction of having a voice in your own destiny. Mediation is typically a quick process. In many cases, 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 in a realistic and amicable manner.
The mediation process begins either with a request by the parties or a Court Order. In New Jersey, the parties must attempt to use 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.
The mediator, as a neutral and objective participant, plays an active role in the mediation process. The mediator helps identify issues, develop bargaining proposals, and conduct negotiations with the goal of coming 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 both 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 making sure 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 the parties 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.
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.
Somerset divorce lawyer at Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon is a trained mediator with experience settling divorce and family law matters through mediation in New Jersey. Call us today at 732-873-6464 or submit an online inquiry.
We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Middlesex County, Union County and including but not limited to the towns of Somerset, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Cranford, Summit, Union, Clark, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, and Scotch Plains.