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The Mediation Process in a NY Divorce 

Posted on June 5, 2024

By definition, a divorce means two people cannot continue to make decisions and live together. That is why mediation is often a component of a New York divorce case. Meditation may help to reduce the overall cost and frustrations that are typical in a divorce case filed in a court of law. The goal of mediation is to encourage you both to make decisions that are best suited for your situation instead of forcing the court to take such actions for you. Talk to a New York City divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Vivien I. Stark today.

When Can You Use Meditation In a NY Divorce?

Any time before or after you file for divorce, you can use the mediation process. This includes situations where you and your spouse have conflicts after your divorce is final and you need to come to a resolution.

What Happens During the Meditation Process in NY?

To end your marriage, you must come to an agreement on specific aspects, including how property and debts will be divided, whether alimony or spousal maintenance must be paid by one spouse, and what decisions must be made for child custody and support. A mediation is a confidential process, one in which you both work with a third-party mediator.

The mediator works through any unresolved concerns between the two parties and tries to find a middle ground that is equitable for all involved. Keep in mind that the mediator does not take one person’s side. Rather, they work between two people in private to ensure that there is a continued flow of information to reach a decision.

You are not required to agree to any decisions made during the divorce mediation. There are some situations in which these will fail, and when that happens, you may not be able to continue on without going through the court process.

When Does the State Require Family Mediation?

There are some situations when mediation may be recommended. In many cases of divorce, they will be referred to meditation early on in the legal process. For example, after filing your divorce paperwork, the court may refer you to meditation.

Court-ordered mediation will vary based on the county and the judge’s decision. If the court clerks believe there is a significant imbalance between the spouses or there are situations where domestic violence could be a factor, presumptive mediation is not likely to be required; instead, a judge will decide on the divorce rulings. Most often, if the couple does not have children, or both are employed, or you request mediation at the time of filing the divorce, the court is likely to grant that.

The key here is to know that the mediator’s job is not to create a fair outcome but to come to a solution. That means you still benefit from the support of an attorney who can help you to better understand your rights throughout the process. Your NY divorce attorney also helps ensure you are able to move away from the marriage with the best possible chance at recovering over the long term.

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