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Preparing for divorce mediation

Divorcing spouses who are willing to cooperate may play a larger role in resolving divorce legal issues through divorce mediation in New Jersey. When they mediate disputes, they do not have to accept a judge's decision and can reject any proposal that they do not support. This process may alleviate some of the emotional stress and expenses associated with litigating divorce and other family law matters. However, mediation has a greater likelihood of success when spouses undergo preparation.

First, spouses must prepare to suppress or control their emotions on particularly emotional matters, such as their children, alimony and child support. Even though a qualified mediator is prepared to deal with anger or crying by either spouse, certain outbursts can slow down or disrupt a mediation. Even with preparation, these outbursts can occur. When a spouse is having difficulty, a recess or other opportunity that provides time for composure may prevent the mediation from collapsing.

Preparing documents and financial information is especially important. For example, a spouse should have accurate figures and documents to support the value of real estate when the mediation is attempting to resolve property division issues. Accurate information provides confidence to the parties attempting to reach an agreement over financial matters. Discussion of accurate numbers and calculations can encourage a mediation that is more productive. Listening skills also need additional emphasis. Concentrating on preparing responses to the former spouse's arguments may just lead to arguments instead of negotiations.

Mediations can also have numerous outcomes. Participants should be realistic, have an ideal resolution in mind and understand that their former spouse may have different expectations. A settlement that falls within their ideal outcome and the other spouse's goals may constitute an ideal mediation.

An experienced attorney can help prepare for this process and suggest issues that should be addressed in a mediation. They can help assure that spouse's rights are protected and their interests are adequately covered.

Source: Mediate.com, "Doing Your Homework Before Mediation: Increasing the Likelihood of Success," Sarah Malik, Aug. 25, 2017

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Weinberg, Kaplan & Smith, P.A.
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Marlton, NJ 08053

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Phone: 856-375-1586
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