When a New Jersey married couple decides to divorce, it activates a series of decisions and legal actions when one of the spouses files papers in court. If the couple has children, a co-parenting plan will be needed. Divorce does not always have to include litigation; in fact, many people nowadays are achieving settlements through mediation.
A mediated divorce is typically less expensive than litigation. If the two spouses involved are able to engage in peaceful discussion, then this option might work for them. If, on the other hand, the couple can barely be in the same room without arguing, mediation may not be the best choice. In a mediated divorce, both spouses must agree to calmly discuss pertinent issues, such as child custody, visitation, property division, etc., to resolve disagreements and come to terms for their own settlement. Each party can still be represented by legal counsel, who can offer advice and help to draft any formal agreement that is made.
The court must approve the terms of the agreement. An impartial mediator can help facilitate discussion sessions. There are no winners or losers; rather, through cooperation and compromise, the mediator provides support so that spouses can work through the issues at hand and come up with a fair and agreeable settlement without having to battle things out in a courtroom.
In some cases, the court appoints a mediator. A New Jersey spouse may still consult with an experienced family law attorney ahead of time to help him or her prepare for the mediation process. A spouse may also ask an attorney to review a proposed agreement before signing anything.