If you and your spouse have decided to consider an alternative dispute resolution over a traditional often-acrimonious, costly divorce trial, you owe it to yourselves to learn more about Mediation with Legal Representation – a process that combines the best parts of traditional mediation and collaborative law divorce.
Jonathan D. Katz, Esq. has been guiding clients in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York, including Orange, Dutchess, Ulster and Rockland counties, through divorce for over 36 years. He has handled countless traditional divorce cases and has come to believe in the benefits of a more amicable process. He is a skilled divorce mediator who assists clients, and their divorce attorneys, in settling disputes and reaching win-win solutions during the mediation process. Contact his office today for more information.What Happens During the Mediation Process?
In traditional mediation, the couple meets with a neutral party (the mediator.) In some cases, the mediator is a divorce attorney. Other times, the mediator may simply be skilled in the guiding clients through a mediation process. Traditionally, however, mediators don’t offer legal advice; they organize the process, keep communication flowing and attempt to guide the mediating parties to an agreement.
It’s important to realize that while the mediation process allows you and your soon-to-be ex to meet with a neutral third party to resolve issues, a mediator’s job isn’t to provide legal advice. Therefore, many topics may go undiscussed or solutions may be short-term. An example may be that you and your spouse agree on child support arrangements, but you fail to discuss who will pay for college costs.
In this type of mediation, both parties are represented by their own divorce lawyers. This means that all issues will be discussed, in depth. You can rest assured that your attorney will protect your rights. Mr. Katz is battle-tested divorce attorney himself. Couples who choose mediation with Mr. Katz as the mediator get the benefit of their own legal representation and his decades of experience with New York divorce law. He assists clients in Poughkeepsie, New Paltz, Kingston and throughout NY.
Mediation with legal representation can be completed in one meeting, depending on the issues to be settled. In most cases, it will take between two and six meetings to iron out the majority of the details of a mediation settlement. It truly depends on the issues at hand and whether outside experts, such as financial advisors or parenting consultants, need to be called in to assist with discussions. the first meeting, the couple and their lawyers will make the mediator aware of the situation and which issues need to be discussed and mediated. Since the couples are represented by council, documents and other information may have already been shared between the two parties. If not, this information – including financial data – will be exchanged.
Going forward, Mr. Katz will lead the two parties through the topics providing ample opportunity for both sides to present their opinions. Open and honest communication is paramount and Mr. Katz will make sure that neither party, nor their lawyer, is dominant in the discussions. This is a place for harmony, not in-fighting. Does this mean no one will get upset? Of course not! However, having an experienced divorce mediator like Mr. Katz guiding the discussion will reduce insults, name-calling and acrimony.
During upcoming meetings, important issues such as asset and debt distribution, child custody and support issues, alimony, real estate and all other pertinent topics will be discussed in an effort to compromise and reach agreement.
Mediation, collaborative law and other types of alternate dispute resolution processes are non-binding. This means that either party, at any time before a final agreement is signed, can walked away from the discussion and pursue a different divorce process. However, Mr. Katz says that mediation reduces clients’ desires to “walk away” because they are represented by attorneys. They know their rights are being protected and they are free to discuss their feelings in a protected, trusting atmosphere.
When all of the issues have been discussed and decisions have been agreed to, Mr. Katz will draft an agreement to be reviewed by the lawyers and signed by the spouses. At this point, the agreement is binding and will be filed with the family court in the county where the clients reside.
As an attorney, Mr. Katz can file all the appropriate paperwork with the court. Neither spouse will need to appear in court before a judge if the mediation process was successful and an agreement was reached. If you are getting divorced in Shandaken, Wawarsing, Saugerties or anywhere else in New York, contact Mr. Katz for information about mediation.Contact an Experienced Divorce Mediator in New York for a Consultation
The benefits of mediation are many: you and your spouse are given the opportunity to discuss topics of importance and to settle conflicts amicably. The process is quite helpful for parents who will have to work together for the long-term on behalf of their children even though they are divorcing. It’s a flexible, confidential process that is often described as a win-win for all involved.
This type of mediation takes the process to the next level by adding the protection of legal representation. You can be assured that your rights and interests are protected while Mr. Katz is making sure that communication flow is open and amicable. Many believe mediation is a more cost-effective way to get divorced as well because it avoids going to court.
Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan D. Katz today for more information about mediation. He can also advise you about other methods of getting divorced in New York State so you can be fully informed before making a decision on how to proceed.