Mediation is becoming increasingly popular among couples who want a fast, easy divorce. The process can save people money, time and stress in the long run.
However, as more and more couples get on board, there have been some misconceptions about how mediation works. Confusion can ruin many of the benefits, so it helps to dispel some of the most common mediation myths.
Some people assume that mediators provide legal representation. The truth is that a mediator’s duty is to help both parties resolve their dispute without leaning either way. Some mediators may discuss fundamental legal aspects in an impartial manner, but they do not give advice.
Money and assets are often a large part of the divorce process. There is a common myth that mediation does not require parties to exchange or talk about their financial information. On the contrary, a mediator needs this information to sort out disputes about property division, spousal support and other monetary concerns.
Sometimes when mediation does not go as planned, a person will tell the court about what went wrong in the negotiation. It is important to understand that mediation is confidential, which means that even a judge should not hear about any of the details in most cases. New Jersey’s Rules of Evidence states that in general, a court should never use inside information about negotiations to reach a conclusion.
Mediation should simplify divorce, but when a person treats the process like something different than it is, matters can become more complicated. By hearing each other out and cooperating with their mediator, both parties may get more from the situation.