MEETING OPTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS: The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen understands your concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, and now offers different meeting options to our clients and those seeking legal representation. All meetings, including initial consultations, can be handled either through the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, or in person.

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Property Division Mediation

Among the most complicated and contentious elements of many New Jersey marriage dissolution cases is the division of marital assets and debts. As a consequence, courts, couples divorcing, and New Jersey divorce attorneys oftentimes seek ways in which to lower the tension and more effectively address matters relating to marital property and financial liabilities. One option available to divorcing couples is property mediation.

There are a number of key facts and factors you need to better understand if you are considering taking advantage of property mediation in your divorce case. These include:

  • Voluntary nature of property division mediation
  • Mechanics of mediation
  • Creating a property division mediation agreement
  • Comprehensive mediation
Voluntary Nature of Property Division Mediation

Perhaps the most fundamental factor you need to understand about property division mediation is that it is a voluntary process. While a court can order people to attempt mediation to resolve disputes associated with the assets and debts of a marriage, a judge is not able to force a resolution of these types of issues through this type of alternative dispute resolution process.

When it comes to the voluntary nature of divorce mediation, it is also possible for a divorcing couple to begin the process and then elect to terminate it. With that said, a court that orders mediation will expect a divorcing couple to make a best effort to mediate. As noted before, a court cannot force a couple to start and complete mediation.

Mechanics of Mediation

Mediation begins with the spouses signing an agreement to mediate. This particular agreement sets forth the parameters of the mediation process.

Once the agreement to mediate is signed by the spouses, a mediator will schedule at least one mediation session. Bear in mind that a mediator does not make decisions in a case or make rulings in the manner of a judge. Rather, a mediator facilitates negotiating between divorcing spouses.

At the conclusion of the mediation, assuming the parties have resolved issues pertaining to assets and debts, the final phase of the process occurs. This is the preparation of a mediation agreement.

Mediation Agreement for Property Division

If a mediation is successful, the mediator prepares what is known as a mediation agreement. In this instrument, the agreement of the divorcing spouses as it pertains to property and debt is set forth.

The parties to a divorce sign the mediation agreement in the same manner in which people execute any type of contract. The mediation agreement is then submitted to the court for review and approval. If the mediation agreement meets muster in the eyes of the court, it is incorporated into the final divorce decree.

Comprehensive Mediation

There are cases in which multiple issues pending in a divorce are mediated. These issues can include:

  • Child custody
  • Child parenting time
  • Child support
  • Alimony or separate maintenance
  • Disposition of assets related to a family or closely held business
  • Other matters that may be at issue in a New Jersey marriage dissolution case

As an aside, divorce mediation is becoming more widely used. There are a number of reasons why this is the reality of marriage dissolution cases in New Jersey at this juncture in time.

One of the reasons why mediation is being more widely used is to ease what oftentimes is heavy court dockets across the state. In addition, mediation can be favored by divorcing parties because it allows them to have a greater sense of control over their cases.

Your Legal Rights in a New Jersey Divorce

If you are considering a divorce, or if your spouse has initiated the marriage dissolution process, you need to be as proactive as possible to protect your vital legal rights and interests. The first step in protecting your rights is to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced, dedicated, and tenacious New Jersey divorce attorney, like a member of the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen.

You can schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled divorce lawyer from our firm by calling our offices at 201-845-7400.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances