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NJ Divorce Mediation FAQ

How Does Divorce Mediation Work?

Both parents will have access to the child's records, even if the child lives with only one parent. These records include information about the child's medical, dental and educational care. If you do not want the Mediation is a voluntary process which allows both of you to maintain control over your destiny and the terms of your divorce settlement. In a mediated divorce case you have control over the outcome of your case. In a litigated case the Judge who does not know either you or your spouse will decide the outcome.

Do We Both Have To Participate?

Probably not. A court determines who should have custody based on what a judge thinks is in the best Because mediation is a joint, cooperative problem solving process, it is necessary for both to participate.

Do I Need An Attorney?

Mediation is not a substitute for independent legal advice. Mediators focus on assisting participants reach their own agreements and do not represent either person in court.

What Happens If We Reach An Agreement?

When an agreement is reached, the mediator can prepare a memorandum so each party has a clear, concise record of the agreements reached in mediation. When these agreements are incorporated into a court order or judgment of divorce and approved by the court, they are legally binding.

What If We Cannot Work It Out?

The mediation process may not resolve all issues but even partial agreements can help participants narrow the issues and limit the time and expense involved in going to court.

Can Mediation Help Us Get Back Together?

Mediation is not marriage counseling. You and your spouse should seek marriage counseling if either of you have any doubts about getting a divorce.

What If We Have Never Been Married?

Parents, couples or partners can use mediation to discuss differences and resolve conflicts. It is an option for married couples planning to separate, married couples deciding to divorce or couples or partners who have never married.

Do I Have To File For Divorce In Order To Use Divorce Mediation?

Many couples separate prior to deciding whether they will divorce. In this period of separation, mediation can help couples resolve parenting issues, support and/or other financial matters. If a couple chooses divorce, divorce mediation can start prior to filing for divorce. This allows the couple, rather than the court, to control the timing of their progress.

How is a Lawyer's Relationship With a Client Different in the Collaborative Law Process, and How Do Lawyers Prepare  Clients For It?

First, the lawyer never ceases to be the client's advocate and the client is so assured. By entering into the participation agreement the client has already decided and declared the intent to neither threaten nor pursue litigation (an entitlement, however, which the client never waives). The objective is to discern and attempt to satisfy the interests of both (all) parties. To that end, all parties and counsel must cooperate. Counsel will encourage their clients to speak candidly about their own needs and desires, and to listen carefully to those expressed by others. Collaborative lawyers remind and reassure their clients that by treating the other side's interests with respect, they are serving their client's goals and interests. Collaborative lawyers are trained in collaborative communication skills and will assist the parties in this endeavor.

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