Divorce Mediation Lawyer in Suffolk County Providing Mediation Services and Guidance to Help Clients Reach a Resolution
Litigated divorces can be stressful, emotionally draining, and incredibly expensive, not to mention time-consuming. Those are some of the reasons why some families may choose to undergo mediation to settle their issues instead of fighting it out in court. Learn how divorce mediation works and how a mediation attorney can help you protect your interests without creating further disruption and emotional turmoil.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADP) method in which the opposing parties work together to reach a resolution with the help of a mediator. The mediator serves as a neutral party who helps facilitate the communication between each party and may employ a series of mediation tools to encourage collaboration and reduce conflict. The goal of mediation is for both parties to reach a mutual agreement.
Is Divorce Mediation Mandatory in the State of New York?
Every divorce is unique and involves unique circumstances. Some couples may voluntarily choose to undergo mediation, while others may want to initiate a litigated divorce only to be told by the court that they should attempt mediation first. While there is no hard and fast rule that requires mediation before a litigated divorce may continue, more and more family courts are starting to include mandatory (or presumptive) mediation requirements as a part of the divorce process.
Mediation can be beneficial in giving the parties a chance to settle their issues in a more productive environment before going to court. This can potentially reduce the amount of time it may take for a divorce to reach its final orders stage, reducing costs and allowing the divorcing couple to keep their matters private and work through relevant issues such as marital property division, child custody, and child support.
What Happens if Divorce Mediation Fails?
Many individuals facing a divorce may worry that they are giving up their rights to a court trial by choosing mediation and that the other party may be too inflexible for any mediation efforts to be effective. However, mediation is simply an opportunity to get both parties to cooperate and reach a mutual agreement and does not exclude any of the parties from pursuing a traditional litigated divorce in court. The mediation process is only legally binding after both parties have signed a final agreement.
In addition, mediation only works when both parties are open to making compromises, and sometimes mediation can fail because the parties are not able to agree on some or all the issues at hand. Regardless of whether the parties entered into the mediation process voluntarily or due to a court requirement, if mediation efforts are not successful, then the case may proceed to litigation, and a family court judge may eventually make decisions for the spouses.
How Can a Divorce Mediation Attorney Help?
Although a person does not have to be an attorney to be a mediator, it is a good idea to use the services of a mediator who is also an attorney. Someone who is not an attorney is not allowed to provide you with legal advice, draft any legal documents, and should not interpret the law for you. Being able to receive professional guidance and advice from a divorce mediation attorney can make all the difference during your mediation sessions.
A divorce mediation attorney can help you fully understand what items must be in your agreement for the court to grant a judgment of divorce. They can do all of the necessary child support and alimony or spousal maintenance calculations and review them with you. While your divorce mediation attorney acts as a neutral third party because each mediation session is joint with your spouse, they can still help you understand your legal rights by explaining what the law says on a certain topic or giving you an idea of how a Judge might decide your case if it went to trial. They can also draft your agreement after you have completed your negotiations with your spouse, so you can walk into your mediation meetings feeling confident that your matter is being handled all together instead of having to now hire a separate attorney to draft everything. Also, just because you are choosing to try and resolve your differences with your ex in a more amicable manner, it does not mean you should give up your rights, so you are always encouraged to bring your drafted agreement to a review attorney if you so desire, which cuts down on legal fees.
Attorney Gina M. Pellettieri at The Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, PLLC, offers divorce mediation services and advice for clients in Suffolk County and surrounding areas. Attorney Gina M. Pellettieri has the skills and knowledge to assist clients through the divorce process in the state of New York and can help protect your interests during a divorce mediation and serve as your legal ally, helping you make difficult decisions and reach an agreement so you can turn the page on this difficult chapter and move on with your life.
Whether you are facing a divorce, have been ordered to undergo mediation, or are simply thinking about the matter and need answers to your questions, reach out to the Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, PLLC, by calling 631-250-3698 and requesting an initial consultation to get started.