It is a smart idea to consider using a Long Island divorce mediator when filing for a divorce to save you time, money, and stress. Working with a divorce mediator helps Long Island couples in a myriad ways. One advantage of mediation is that couples often complete the legal journey much faster than those who choose a traditional litigation model, which involves waiting for a court date before a Supreme Court judge, fling motions, and other time-consuming aspects of an adversarial divorce.
Family courts in Nassau County and Suffolk County oversee hundreds of cases related to family law matters, from guardianship and custody, to child abuse, but they do not handle divorce cases. Divorce cases on Long Island are handled by the New York State Supreme Court. Many experts predict that half of all marriages will end in divorce, but the US Census Bureau statistics suggest that somewhere between 35% and 40% is a more realistic number. Still, that is a significant number of marriages that end prematurely – and most local divorce cases eventually wind up on a docket in the New York court system.
What are the Benefits of Working with a Long Island Divorce Mediator?
In addition to saving couples time, divorce mediators also save them the embarrassment of explaining to a judge – and anyone else who happens to be in the courtroom or wants to look up the public records – why their marriage failed. Every divorce case is unique because every relationship is different. Sometimes young, naïve couples make impulse decisions, marrying when they aren’t financially or emotionally ready. Other couples slowly drift or grow apart over the years.
Both types of marriages often lead to a “No Fault” divorce. According to Long Island divorce mediator Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., “A No Fault divorce means that neither party plans to accuse the other spouse of adultery, cruelty, imprisonment, or abandonment.” Even though the spouses aren’t blaming each other for causing the divorce, there are still some important issues to resolve in a no fault divorce. A divorce mediator helps Long Island couples resolve their differences and create a legally binding settlement negotiation for review by a Nassau County or Suffolk County Supreme Court judge.
Is a Divorce Mediator a Long Island Attorney?
While many mediators are not attorneys, a number are, and there are advantages to hiring a Long Island divorce mediator who is also a divorce attorney. While divorce mediators should have extensive training about divorce and the legal requirements in New York, divorce attorneys are in and out of court frequently and may be more familiar with the latest rulings in litigated divorces, which can have a bearing on mediated divorces. Certified Long Island divorce mediators also have advanced training and experience as communication specialists. This expertise allows mediators to facilitate negotiations between both parties as they discuss equitable distribution of assets, child support and visitation, temporary maintenance, and other potentially sensitive issues.
Provided that both spouses are communicative and treat each other with mutual respect, mediated negotiations often progress quickly with both spouses in the room at the same time. If emotions flair or communicating becomes difficult with everyone in the same room, mediators can meet with each spouse separately. Private conversations allow each person to express their emotions openly without disrupting the negotiation process.
Are There Other Benefits Divorce Mediators Offer Long Island Couples?
If they aren’t an attorney themselves, Long Island Divorce Mediators will work closely with Long Island attorneys to help couples navigate their divorce efficiently in less time and often with less stress. When couples agree to work together to reach settlements outside the court room, attorney fees and court costs are reduced because the attorneys are not filing motions or otherwise dealing with another divorce attorney who is also fighting to get the most for his or her client.
Divorce Mediation also often provides a framework for more flexible agreements. Given the opportunity to decide what their future will look like, couples can create flexible visitation schedules, realistically consider financial resources and debt burdens, and generally design a road map that is equitable for the whole family – parents, children, grandparents, and even extended family if they choose.
When there are older children living in the home, the divorce mediator may recommend a child psychologist or other mental health specialist interview the children. Additionally, older children welcome to join the negotiation discussions if appropriate. Most children adjust better to a divorce if they feel like they are part of the process.
No one expects divorce to be easy or 100% stress-free. For many couples, working with a divorce mediator on Long Island can make the process easier and less stressful than waiting to take their turn before a judge at the Suffolk County or Nassau County court house.