Divorce Mediation Versus Litigation

Divorce Mediation in New York

No one gets married thinking they’ll get divorced or separated. But the fact of the matter is that for roughly half of Americans, it’s statistically likely. And the likelihood of a divorce goes up even more for second and third marriages. 

But how you get divorced is another question altogether–in terms of whether it will be civil or contentious and whether you choose divorce mediation versus litigation

What is divorce mediation? 

In divorce mediation, an outside neutral third party not affiliated with either party aims to help the couple come to a mutually beneficial agreement. This ultimately ideally entails a compromise by both parties, which can often involve a give and take, with sacrificing something of value.  

The mediator is an certified expert trained in the voluntary process of mediation. Mediators can serve as a communication buffer between the two parties, allowing them to speak separately and freely. They can help them effectively communicate and resolve issues in a manner they may not otherwise have been able to do. 

All different types of divorce matters, such as child custody/visitation and division of marital assets, can be resolved in mediation. 

Depending on the mediator, you may be able to bring an attorney with you during the mediation process as counsel–or you may simply have just the couple and the mediator. 

What are some benefits of divorce mediation? 

You can potentially save a lot of time and money (and additional effort and emotional stress and heartbreak) with divorce mediation versus litigation and actual trial. This can benefit not just the couple but their children and family too, from having to suffer from a long, drawn out process. You may also be able to collectively agree upon a scheduled mediation date, versus a court date that may be decided for you. 

Mediation can also be seen as beneficial to your privacy, as issues are not aired openly in a court setting. But rather your confidential and personal matters are contained between the select few attending the mediation. In particular, children affected by the divorce may not need to attend the mediation process when they might otherwise appear or testify in court. 

Additionally, in litigation where a judge makes the ultimate decision, you may encounter less uncertainty as to the outcome. Still, there is no guarantee that mediation will resolve the conflict. And if mediation fails, you would have wasted valuable time, effort, and financial resources in the process. But mediation can and does prove effective in many cases.  

What are some things to prepare for in divorce mediation?  

Figure out your divorce goals and priorities ahead of time in the mediation. And while you’re at it, you may want to try to brainstorm what your partner will value and want as well. There are certain things you may be willing to sacrifice and others you won’t, like in any negotiation.   

For example, you might want to demand full or split custody of your children and pet; a certain amount of alimony and child support, a visitation schedule, and more. 

Have evidence to present, such as a record of financial disclosures between parties. For instance, tax statements, bank accounts, retirement accounts, car payments, mortgage paperwork, car payments, student loans, etc.   

How long can divorce mediation take? 

In a traditional divorce, the process can take many months if not a year or multiple years even. Whereas, in mediation, it may take just several months or much less for several sessions or just one session for a divorce mediation to be completed. Each session can take several hours long. Of course, a more complex divorce proceeding with greater assets and parties at stake can take longer. Bottom-line, mediation is known to take significantly less time than traditional litigation. 

If you have a family law issue, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders. 


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