Getting divorced is never an easy prospect. In New Jersey right now, it’s nearly impossible. Initially, only Essex and Passaic Counties had stays on divorces. Now, with the escalation of budget issues and the closure of all state courts, divorces are indefinitely on hold throughout New Jersey.
For some couples, this could mean getting forced to continue in an unhappy marriage. For those who believe they can reach workable compromises with their former spouses, however, mediation remains a viable option for ending a marriage even while courts are not hearing divorce cases.
Unlike court divorces, which require all parties to come to a local courthouse and give statements and testimony before a judge, mediation gets handled outside of the court system. You and your spouse each retain your own attorneys and work with a neutral third party, often also an attorney, to work through your various issues and disagreements. Mediation can help you both come to terms with fair and equitable arrangements for both child custody and asset division. Compromise from both of you will be necessary, but your attorney can help ensure you’re not being pushed around by your ex.
In mediation, you have the final say
When a judge decides how your divorce will play out, both you and your former spouse lose control over the outcome of the divorce. The judge has all the power to set the terms of your divorce. In many cases, that means that neither spouse ends up feeling happy with the outcome. In mediation, you and your former spouse have all the power. You will get to discuss both of your needs and wants and then talk through your disagreements until you reach a compromise. By tackling each individual issue, you can resolve all of the critical problems with your divorce without ever going into a court.
Perhaps you have specific desires for your custody arrangements or really want to retain a particular asset, like your vacation home or a piece of fine art. In mediation, you can make it clear what you value and want from the process and work with your former spouse to make it happen. While neither of you will get everything you want, you will both feel more satisfied with the outcome because you will both have had a say in how things get decided.
Mediation also helps protect your children
Divorce is always hard on kids. Going through mediation won’t prevent all of the potential social and emotional fallout from the divorce, but it will reduce the severity of the divorce’s impact on the kids. Your children won’t be forced to testify about whom they want to live with or listen to you and your former spouse share details about each other’s worst moments. Mediation can make divorcing simpler and more empowering for every member of your family.