Are you considering a divorce but worry your spouse won’t agree to any terms regarding property division, child custody, or other matters? You may feel like a formal divorce proceeding is your only option. However, you do have alternatives if you want to avoid a contentious or emotional court battle.
The Monmouth County divorce mediation lawyers at The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC can help you obtain a low-conflict divorce yet still satisfy your goals for your case. We have decades of experience successfully mediating Monmouth County divorce agreements between spouses, such as child support, child custody, alimony and spousal support, equitable distribution, and more.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Monmouth County, NJ divorce mediation attorney. Call us at (732) 747-1882 and we’ll help you understand your options for alternative dispute resolution.
How The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC Can Help Mediate Your Divorce
Mediation is a useful alternative to litigation for spouses who disagree on major divorce terms but still hope to avoid combative court proceedings. However, not all Monmouth County family lawyers are successful mediators, and not all mediators are equipped to handle the emotional challenges and complex family dynamics of a divorce case.
You deserve an experienced mediator who understands the New Jersey divorce process and can help you negotiate the terms you desire for your children and/or property. The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC is one of the premier divorce and mediation firms in Monmouth County, New Jersey.
When you hire us to lead your divorce mediation, we will:
- Explain the divorce and mediation process in New Jersey
- Listen to your goals for your divorce and life after the divorce
- Develop a strong mediation strategy to help you achieve favorable outcomes
- Handle all communications and negotiations with your spouse/their attorney
- Represent you in all proceedings related to the divorce
Our founding attorney has received specialized training in mediation from the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. You can trust we have the skills and experience to help you achieve a fair outcome in your divorce. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our Monmouth County divorce lawyers.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) used to informally resolve legal issues without court intervention. Mediation has become a common strategy for couples seeking a divorce. Some courts have even mandated mediation prior to litigation.
Mediation is an informal and flexible practice that is non-binding on the parties and confidential. The parties typically meet at a neutral location or at the mediator’s office. The goal is for the mediator to help define and narrow down the parties’ issues, understand both parties’ goals, and work with the parties to reach a global resolution. Typically, the mediator will hold joint sessions with both parties. Later, the mediator may enter into separate caucuses or meet each party alone to discuss specific issues.
If the mediation is not successful, any conversations during the mediation sessions remain confidential. This means that anything that happened during a mediation is not permitted to be used in subsequent litigation. For example, confidentiality applies to the conduct of the parties during mediation. It also applies to:
- Oral and written settlement terms.
The purpose of confidentiality during mediation is that it is designed to encourage a potential resolution.
What is A Mediator’s Role?
A mediator is not a judge and will not make decisions on behalf of the parties. The mediator is unbiased and does not advocate for either party during a divorce. Rather, a mediator listens to both parties and is able to carefully consider each side’s arguments and can then make recommendations regarding how issues should be resolved.
For a divorce, you will want to retain a mediator who specializes in divorce and family law. This way, the mediator will be well-versed in matrimonial and family law issues in New Jersey and will understand how most judges in Monmouth County, New Jersey, might rule on the legal issues that you and your family are facing.
What Issues Can a Mediator Assist with During a Divorce?
A mediator can help couples resolves many issues related to a divorce, including:
- Child custody
- Visitation and time sharing of children
- Parental decision-making involving health care, education, and other areas
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Determining what is separate property and marital property, and
- Equitable distribution of assets and debts
An experienced mediator will guide you on legal issues and will help you and your spouse create valid solutions to resolve any differences that you might have.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediation has many benefits over formal divorce proceedings, including
- It is often a quicker and cheaper alternative to divorce litigation
- It ensures that both parties’ objectives and concerns during a divorce are heard and addressed
- Mediation is less adversarial than litigation and promotes a more amicable future relationship for the parties than if they litigate in court
- Mediation allows the parties to have control over the divorce process
- Mediation enables the parties to devise solutions that work for all members of the family
If these benefits sound attractive to you, you should consider contacting an experienced New Jersey divorce mediation lawyer for help. The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill offers free consultations.
Do I Need an Attorney to Represent Me During a Mediation?
It is not required that you have an attorney during a mediation; you can represent yourself pro se. However, it is always a good idea for both parties to have their own attorneys present during mediation sessions.
Having an attorney can be beneficial in helping you articulate your various positions to the mediator. An attorney can help you understand the long-term consequences of accepting certain terms of a divorce agreement. They can also strengthen your leverage and negotiating position for the terms most important to you. An attorney can also advise you of your legal rights during the divorce process, an essential component in all negotiations.
Will Hiring an Outside Expert Be Necessary During Mediation?
It depends. For example, if the parties are unable to agree to the value of marital property, an expert might need to be retained. This frequently occurs when the parties own real property or in cases where stock options and retirement assets need to be valued and potentially transferred. The mediator will need to know the value of various assets to evaluate appropriate off-setting calculations.
How Much Will a Mediator Cost?
Hiring a mediator for your divorce will likely cost significantly less than hiring attorneys for a “contested” or litigated divorce. It is always a good idea to ask a mediator for an estimate of the time, expense, and scope of the work prior to retaining a mediator. However, the cost will vary depending on how many mediation sessions you will need.
The price will also depend on the complexity of the issues in your divorce. For short-term marriages without children, the cost will likely be cheaper and quicker to resolve than longer-term marriages with minor children.
Another factor impacting the cost of mediation is whether valuations of marital property are needed. For example, mediation will likely cost more when:
- There has been a commingling of non-marital assets
- When one party has not worked in a long time
- When one party is working but not earning the amount they could be earning relative to their skill, ability, and qualifications
In those instances, income might need to be “imputed” to them so that they receive an appropriate salary. There may be other factors that come into play when determining the cost and length of time of mediation.
Consult The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill for All of Your Family Law Mediation Needs
The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill is a preeminent family and divorce law firm based in Red Bank, NJ. The firm has over eighteen years of specialized experience in matrimonial and family law. Our attorneys have specialized mediation training that helps us navigate divorce mediation efficiently and with low conflict.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a Monmouth County divorce mediation lawyer.
Our divorce law firm in Monmouth County, NJ also provides:
- Monmouth County Divorce Lawyer
- Mediation Attorney in Monmouth County, NJ
- Monmouth County Child Relocation Lawyers
- Judgment Modifications Lawyer in Monmouth County, NJ
- Prenuptial Agreements Lawyers in Monmouth County, NJ
- Domestic Violence Attorneys in Monmouth County, NJ
- Monmouth County Modifications of Order Lawyer
- Division of Assets Attorney in Monmouth County, NJ
- High Asset Divorce Lawyer in Monmouth County, NJ
- Paternity Lawyer in Monmouth County, NJ