Divorce Mediation

Divorce MediationWhat is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a dispute resolution option available in New York for divorced, divorcing, and unmarried couples engaged in a matrimonial conflict which needs to be resolved legally. It is non-adversarial, voluntary, and confidential. It is a constructive process whereby a neutral facilitator will help you and your spouse discuss and understand the nature of your conflict in order to help you accomplish a positive result. The aim is to achieve an agreement which is satisfactory to both without having a trial in court.

Through this structured process, the divorcing couple is helped to reach a self-determined and reasonable agreement by a trained neutral third party: a mediator, who may be a divorce attorney trained in this field. With more than 35 years practicing matrimonial law, Ingrid Gherman is also an experienced Certified Divorce Mediator and offers this option in addition to collaboration and traditional courtroom litigation to clients experiencing marriage dissolution. You can discuss this option and others with Ingrid in a consultation which can be scheduled by calling her law office at (212) 941-0767 or sending the convenient inquiry-form.

How Does It Differ from Traditional Litigation?

Mediation is usually less expensive than litigation in courts, is the preference of judges, is more satisfying to the spouses and in the end cultivates a greater degree of compliance to the terms agreed upon by the parties involved.

The traditional divorce process is adversarial; the spouses are encouraged to view each other as adversaries. Each spouse retains an attorney who represents him or her within the bound of the law. During the course of this adversarial process, the spouses are most often experiencing emotional trauma and financial chaos.

Through the mediation process, the spouses are encouraged to make their own decisions; this means that the spouses are in control, whereas in the traditional litigation the lawyers and the trial courts are in control. In this form of dispute resolution process, the divorcing spouses are not required to view each other as adversaries. As a result, the tension and stress caused by the chaos of terminating the marriage is reduced. Both spouses can better adjust and plan for the future; both are empowered to work together on finding the best way to resolve their conflicts.

What about Collaborative Divorce?

In the collaborative process, a separate attorney is retained by each spouse. The attorneys and the two spouses then collaborate in a four-way session to arrive at a cordial settlement. Collaboration is sort of the middle-ground between litigation and mediation. In the latter, the spouses meet together with a mediator who is neutral. Parties each advocate for themselves. They can each use the services of a family law attorney outside of the sessions being mediated. The neutral mediator is not permitted to impart legal advice to either spouse or assistance to either in advocating a particular position.

What can be resolved?

In New York divorce mediation, the following matters can be decided:

  • Pre-Nuptial Agreements
  • Parenting Agreements
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
  • Property Distribution
  • Debt Allocation

The children of the divorcing spouses are also winning when they see their parents working together for the children's best interests in the future.

When mediation won’t work

When one spouse:

  • Is hiding assets and/or income;
  • Intends to cut off the other spouse from needed counsel; or
  • Engages in domestic violence against the other spouse.

In general, women are less satisfied with mediated divorce settlements than are men. This is especially true in marriages where women hold less of the money and power. This form of divorce negotiation requires a sensitive mediator, reasonable spouses willing to engage in good-faith negotiation, and financial disclosure.

Mediation’s ultimate purpose is to resolve the financial and/or child-related disputes related to a matrimonial conflict. It is not the same as marriage counseling. However, the process can also provide great therapeutic benefit for both spouses.

Get an Experienced and Certified Mediator

Discuss mediation as an option with Ingrid Gherman, a knowledgeable matrimonial attorney with many years experience. Ingrid is also certified with the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and can directly assist you and your spouse throughout this process of dispute resolution and divorce negotiation. To schedule a time to discuss this with Ingrid, call (212) 941-0767 or send the on-line form.