Well, there are a lot of different kinds of mediation, but it’s basically alternative dispute resolution. And people will go to a mediator and basically the mediator will discuss with them how they can resolve all the different issues in divorce between the two of them without going to court. But normally in mediation, once a bargain is struck, there’s something called the memorandum of understanding that the mediator will give to the parties. And then the parties will bring it each to their attorney’s and then there usually is some sort of back and forth to put it into the right form for a property settlement agreement.”
It’s less costly than litigation. The people can talk to each other which is very important, because even once they get divorced, if they have children, they really need to know how to communicate with each other. They’re not going to be rid of each other if they have children. They’re going to have a different relationship, but they still have to communicate. So, mediation does help because they can kind of talk to each other and make their own agreement instead of an order being imposed on them by a judge who doesn’t even know them.
So, it has a lot of advantages in that regard. And the parties have more control over the process. They communicate with each other. It’s statistically shown that if you come to your own agreement, you’re more likely to abide by it than if you’re told by a judge what to do.
Judith S. Charny has been practicing law in South Jersey since 1984 and established her own practice in 1999. Ms. Charny concentrates in divorce and family law, including collaborative law and divorce mediation.