In our world where so many things are instantly available at our fingertips, divorcing couples increasingly want to know how to minimize the time it takes to complete the process — without sacrificing the quality of their settlement. The easiest way to get a quick divorce? For many couples, the answer is divorce mediation. Mediating a divorce can save time — and big bonus — it can also save considerable amounts of money.
Here’s how the process works.
When divorcing spouses cannot or will not work out their differences, they can end up facing a divorce trial. This makes them bound to the court’s calendar and are scheduled based upon when the judge can see them. Often, trial dates are not consecutive forcing couples to return to court week after week for several months.
On the other hand, the mediation process uses a neutral mediator to assist the couple to identify the necessary issues that need to be addressed and to help them create reasonable solutions that work well for them and their lives. Mediators can also recommend and work with necessary experts such as financial advisors or custody professionals if needed. Couples approach mediation with a desire to work together to reach a resolution of their issues. Mediators are trained in New Jersey and can address all types of family issues such as child custody, parenting time, spousal support and equitable distribution of property.
Hopefully, the couple can come to a resolution after one or two sessions with their mediator. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator can put the agreement in writing and the couple can proceed to court to be divorced with their agreement as part of the final judgment. The judge does not look at the agreement and respects the parties’ wishes that this be the formal and final resolution of their divorce. One, perhaps two court appearances would be necessary, and the appearances would be fairly quick, depending on the court’s schedule.
Courts in New Jersey are strong supporters of mediation and attempt to get couples to settle their differences outside of the courtroom. Courts are busy and overloaded with all types of family law matters and judge’s schedules are stretched. Divorces can linger for up to one year in the traditional system, if couples refuse to attempt to work together to come up with their own agreement. If your divorce has already started, you can simply let the judge know that you are taking your matter to mediation. In some situations, the courts may actually mandate couples to try mediation as an attempt to avoid a trial.
Of course, every couple and every divorce are different. The mediator, while experienced in family law, should take the time to understand your specific circumstances and address your individual needs and the needs of your family. And, while every divorce is not resolved thru meditation, the majority are. Even if you are not able to work out every single issue, getting yourself to the table to hash out at least some of your problems is a great step. The more time you spend attempting to negotiate, the less time you will spend in a courtroom.
Attempt to sit down with your spouse, if possible, even before attending mediation. If you both are able to come up with some solutions prior to mediation, your divorce costs, in both time and money will be even less.
If you are thinking of filing for divorce and are interested in both cost and time saving for you and your family, please contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with one of our certified divorce and family law mediators.