Sometimes, divorcing parties find it better to settle divorce issues outside of court through collaborative divorce. And one of the popular approaches to this is mediation. With mediation, spouses can privately negotiate terms more freely and at a lower cost.
There are generally two ways to initiate mediation in New Jersey.
Private voluntary mediation
Parties who aim to file for an uncontested divorce in New Jersey can complete a settlement agreement through private mediation. When parties successfully agree on the divorce terms, their case will likely be quicker and cost less upon filing the case with the court.
Moreover, a private mediation does not require the court’s approval since the settlement agreement will still go through the court for review to ensure the terms are fair and just.
In New Jersey, judges can order separating spouses to enter into mediation even if the divorce petition is already in the court’s system. This typically happens when the situation involves financial and custodial disputes. For custody disputes, courts acknowledge that the parties know their child better and can align their schedules accordingly. Of course, the final custody agreement should be in the child’s best interests.
Mediation is not for everyone
While mediation is a promising alternative, it may not work for everyone. For instance, mediation may be inappropriate for cases involving domestic violence and abuse since fear and intimidation are likely to exist and hinder the purpose of mediation.
Mediation does not guarantee success but is a good option for divorcing spouses to consider, especially if both parties are open to negotiation and willing to compromise.