NJ Divorce Mediation
Divorce represents one of the most emotionally charged and legally challenging of all judicial proceedings. Issues in a divorce case naturally are contentious because they include topics like child custody and dividing up the property of the couple.
Courts throughout the country prefer parties attempt to negotiate a settlement of the issues between them in a divorce case. In many cases, even when a couple engages attorneys, reaching a settlement of divorce-related issues on their own accord proves impossible.
Historically, when the settlement process failed to produce results, a divorcing couple was left facing protracted court hearings and even full-blown divorce trials. In more recent years, particularly over the course of the past two decades, a growing number of courts have come to rely on professional divorce mediators to assist couples in settling issues related to the dissolution of their marriages.Overview of Divorce Mediation in NJ
Misconceptions exist about mediation. Many individuals confuse mediation with arbitration. Arbitration involves a third party making decisions for individuals involved in a dispute. On the other hand, mediation is a process in which the mediator assists the parties to a dispute in making decisions and reaching a settlement.
Divorce mediators, are specially trained to address issues that arise in marriage dissolution cases, are playing particularly significant roles in the family law arena in helping to settle disputes related to child custody. They also are called upon frequently to assist a divorcing couple in addressing property and debt issues; this includes dividing up personal property, which can otherwise pose a stumbling block to resolving a divorce case.Voluntary Divorce Mediation NJ
In most cases, a judge will provide a couple the opportunity to seek the voluntary mediation of an issue or issues in a divorce case. Judges prefer divorcing spouses to at least make a concerted effort to reach a settlement of issues.Court-Ordered Mediation
A growing number of jurisdictions require a divorcing couple to submit to the mediation process in certain situations. For example, many jurisdictions require a couple to submit to mediation to resolve a child custody-related issue before the court schedules a hearing on the matter. In New Jersey Court Rule 1:40-5 states that parties with an unresolved custody or parenting time issues must attend mediation for said issues. Said mediation is free and occurs in the court house. The parties are required to attend the first mediation session. Also, in New Jersey Court Rule 1:40-5 (H) requires parties that have not settled their economic issues (equitable distribution, child support, alimony and attorney fees) to attend economic mediation. The parties will pick an economic mediator who will donate two hours of his or her time. Usually the first hour is spent reviewing the file and the second hour is spent working with the parties. The parties could continue to use the mediator after the two free hours, but must pay the mediator his or her hourly rate.
Professional mediators help ease the emotional intensity oftentimes associated with divorce cases. They are valuable resources in resolving challenging issues faced by people seeking divorces. In addition, through the assistance of mediators, the costs and length of time associated with pursuing a divorce are decreased.