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Divorce Mediation

What is Divorce Mediation? Mediation is a problem solving process where an impartial third party assists you in reaching an agreement that would be the fairest to both of you. Mediation works successfully for many divorcing families. Mediator does not represent either of the parties but serves as an impartial arbiter that puts an effort into helping couples to find the most suitable compromise solutions to their dilemmas. Cooperative couples more often choose this alternative while going through their divorce. Families with high conflict need mediation even more to avoid the high costs of litigation and the deepening conflicts that result from the adversity inherent in court litigated “divorce solutions”. Why choosing a right mediator matters? Properly selecting a mediator will be critical to an outcome of the negotiation process. While properly trained professional will help you reach your goals, an unskilled mediator might cause you to come to a “dead end”. As the State of NJ does not license such professionals, how do you choose the right one? In our State we have a New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators that offers accreditation to mediation professionals that have passed rigorous training courses and have met the exacting standards of this organization. How Does it Work? My mediation process includes an orientation session which gives us the opportunity to get to know each other.I spend most of the first mediation meeting simply listening to a couple’s mutual and divergent perspectives, gathering information, answering questions and presenting an agenda for our following meetings. The most important goal for the first mediation meeting is to create an atmosphere where both parties will feel comfortable with the whole process and secure in the non-threataning and cooperative nature of the meetings. During the course of the mediation process the divorcing couple will need to make many serious decisions about their assets and liabilities, parenting and child support, spousal support (if necessary) and the couple’s living arrangements.We will focus on the future and make arrangements that take all family members into consideration. At the end of the mediation process, I prepare a Memorandum of Understanding, a detailed document outlining your divorce arrangements that will be used by one of your attorneys to create your Property Settlement Agreement. I am a firm believer that, the direct participation of the divorcing couples in creating their own voluntary agreement, results in a document that is much more likely to be upheld and honored by both parties (as opposite to a legal decisions handed down to them by the courts). In the mediation process, my goal is to facilitate communication, promote understanding, and assist you in reaching fully informed solutions that will work for both of you. I realize that it is that seems fair to both sides really counts and I therefore would let your creativity be a part of the divorce mediation process. Though we have to consider the legal statutes and case law, the mediation process still affordsl much latitude for you to work out an agreement that is suitable for the entire family. Your most important goal during mediation is to prepare yourself mentally and recognize that a divorce settlement will be reached only if and when both parties’ major goals are met. You will also need to keep in mind that divorce mediation is a negotiation process where both sides will need to work very hard in balancing an agreement and recognize that neither of you will get your “wish list”, and both of you will need to give up on some points in order to gain on the others. I would like to stress once again that mediation process really works: statistics indicate that over 85% of all divorce mediations result in settlement. This is true even where all prior attempts at settlement have failed, where the parties were pessimistic about the prospects of settlement, and where the parties have spent substantial amounts of time and money preparing for trial. With such a success rate, it is wise and relatively inexpensive to try mediation. You have little to lose and a lot to gain!

Family Mediation

"Studies in the United States have shown that 40% or more of divorced people regrets their divorce," writes Doherty in Take Back your Marriage. "The great majority of divorced people believe that one or the other of them could have worked much harder to save the marriage." Here are Doherty's nine signs that your marriage still has a shot: 1. You wonder if you ever loved your spouse – yet your friends and family say you were crazy about each other when you got married. Love was the genuine foundation of your marriage. 2. You say your spouse doesn't’t spend enough time with you – yet you’re busy almost every night of the week. You’re involved in volunteering, socializing with friends, child-raising, and work. 3. You dwell on your spouse’s faults – but if asked to describe him, you use words like “kind”, “caring” or “responsible.” In fact, recent research shows that using positive words to describe your spouse indicates a healthy marriage that will survive the long haul. 4. You complain about your spouse to family and friends – but if they say you can’t save your marriage and should think about divorce, you’re hurt and surprised. 5. You say you don’t want to fix your relationship – but you cancel or don’t make appointments to talk to a divorce lawyer. 6. You say your spouse isn’t helping to fix your relationship – and you ignore the fact that he’s a good parent. You rule out the possibility that a good parent can learn to be a good spouse – and you can save your marriage together. 7. You say you want more emotional connection – but you refuse to be honest about how you feel. You say you want to save your marriage, but you don’t take the necessary steps. 8. You feel like you can’t do anything to fix your relationship – but you ignore your spouse’s attempts to reconnect or make your marriage better. 9. You know you won’t be able to explain why you ended the marriage to your kids – and you aren’t certain the pain you’re in now will justify the pain they’ll be in if you end your marriage. If some of those statements describe you, you owe it to yourself to try to do everything what's in your power to save your marriage. Family Mediation Services offer hope for couples experiencing marital challenges who want to preserve their marriages and improve their relationship. Although mediation is not a substitute for counseling, it can offer couples a practical approach to resolving conflicts regarding issues such as children, career changes, blended or extended families, etc. I will assist you in finding solutions to your individual problems, in overcoming various impasses to foster the communication and to preserve your marriage.

Parenting Coordination

Parenting coordination provides a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process. A Parenting Coordinator assists the parents in creating or implementing a parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between the parents and by providing education, making recommendations, thus helping the parents to resolve their differences outside of the court system. More than one million children each year are affected by divorce and family separation. Many of those children will be raised in families where parents remain in conflict. It is crucial for those parents to understand that their ongoing custody battles will create an unhealthy environment for their children. Their children’s entire world becomes disrupted, their support system becomes weakened or destroyed, and the children may become anywhere from vulnerable to incapacitated. If parents can learn to manage their parenting by themselves, engage in acceptable communication with their co-parents, it will not only tremendously benefit their children, but will also help these parents to become healthy and happy adults and move forward with their lives.. Every parent I know wants their children to be successful. They want them to be happy, independent and end up in loving relationships as adults. What high conflict parents need to know is that it is not the divorce by itself that creates pathology and sickness with children, but rather it is the constant conflict that causes irreparable harm. As a parent coordinator I will help divorced families or families in transition to reduce parental conflict, minimize stress for children, and encourage families, whenever possible, to resolve their own parenting issues without litigation. I will help and ensure that the children are shielded from parental conflict, loyalty binds and any other unnecessary stress. I will assist you to make informed decisions to promote the best interests of your children. I will help you maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship by reducing parental conflict. As a Parenting Coordinator qualified by the Family Courts of NJ since 2009, I am well positioned to help you resolve your conflicts and to raise your children in a healthier environment that is not detrimental to their development and well-being.