If you are considering a divorce, you may be envisioning and dreading emotional courtroom scenes like those that you see on TV. However, this does not need to be how the process unfolds. While litigation may be appropriate in some circumstances, many couples would be better served by mediation, especially if there are children involved. If you are going to be co-parenting after the divorce, it is important that parents work together for the sake of the children. Even if no children are involved, many couples still prefer mediation. Whether or not you have thought about this option, a skilled New York City divorce mediation lawyer who is experienced in both litigation and mediation can help you choose an approach that works for you. Ingrid Gherman practices family, matrimonial, and divorce law in New York State. She is also a Certified Divorce Mediator with the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation.The Benefits of Mediation
Mediated divorce is becoming more and more popular due to its many benefits. Mediation is almost always less expensive than traditional litigation, even when there is a settlement. It also allows the parties to have control of the process instead of letting a judge decide. Mediated divorce typically leads to greater satisfaction for both parties, and it is less likely that either party will need to go back to court to modify the agreement. Furthermore, parents tend to be in the best situation to know the best interests of the child, rather than a judge who may not know the child.How Does Mediation Work in New York?
Divorce is always an emotional experience that involves individuals who each have their own feelings, perspectives, opinions, and desires. A mediator works with both parties to come to agreements about dividing the marital property and whether there will be any ongoing alimony or maintenance. If there are children from the marriage, the parties will also come to an agreement about custody and visitation. A divorce mediation attorney in New York City can make sure that your perspective is properly articulated.New York Divorce Laws
New York is a good state to consider mediation during a divorce because of its divorce laws. It is different from many other states when it comes to a "no-fault" divorce. In New York, you can file for divorce under several grounds: cruel and inhumane treatment, abandonment for a year or more, imprisonment for three or more years, adultery, and living apart for one or more years after obtaining a separation agreement or pursuant to a separation agreement. Living apart for over a year after obtaining or pursuant to a separation agreement is New York's version of no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce does not necessarily mean that neither party engaged in bad acts, but it is usually the easiest and fastest way to get a divorce because you do not need to prove this wrongdoing in court.
Since New York does not take fault into account when dividing property (outside of egregious behavior), many couples will still use a "no-fault" divorce even if a ground applies. A divorce will not be granted in New York until all of the issues of property division, alimony (if any), custody, and child support have been worked out. Either the parties can come to an agreement themselves through mediation or a settlement, often with the assistance of a New York City divorce mediation attorney, or the judge can decide on these issues. What this means is that in order to get a "no-fault" divorce, you need to have a separation agreement in place, which will usually be incorporated into the divorce agreement.Contested and Uncontested Divorces
Divorces can be contested or uncontested in New York. An uncontested divorce means that the parties have come to an agreement on all of the major issues, and the judge just needs to approve the decision. A contested divorce means that there are issues that the couple cannot resolve themselves, so there will be a trial unless the parties can come to a settlement during the litigation process.
In New York, an uncontested no-fault divorce is the fastest and least expensive way to get a divorce. Mediation can help you come to this type of resolution outside courts and the adversarial process, saving time, money, and stress.Contact an Experienced Divorce Mediation Lawyer in New York City
If you are still skeptical about whether mediation will work for you, Ingrid Gherman can tailor a personalized plan, which might be mediation, litigation, or a mixture of both. Whether you need an aggressive advocate or a mediator skilled in conflict resolution, Ingrid Gherman, P.C., can help you. We serve Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. Contact us today for a consultation by using the contact form on this website or calling 212-941-0767.