Debunking Common Divorce Mediation Myths
Divorce can permanently impact your life, which is why it is crucial to do it right. The last thing you need is to settle for unfair terms only to live with the consequences for the rest of your post-divorce life. Fortunately, divorcing spouses can reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce with the help of a divorce mediator.
Divorce mediation is an alternative to courtroom litigation that utilizes a third-party, neutral professional to facilitate a meeting between both spouses. The goal of divorce mediation is to help couples resolve disputed issues and terms of their agreement. A mediator will not make decisions for either party, but rather cultivate a discussion that helps both spouses accomplish their goals in a mutually beneficial way.
While divorce mediation is highly beneficial, five common myths prevent people from utilizing divorce mediation. Our Dutchess County family attorneys are here to address them:
You don’t need a lawyer: This is false. Divorce Mediators are a neutral third-party whose goal is to assist divorcing couples in reaching an agreement, regardless of the terms. Not all divorce mediators are experienced divorce lawyers, meaning they may not be knowledgeable enough about family law to understand what to include in the agreement and how to draft it according to legal standards.
Therefore, you should have a lawyer representing your best interests throughout the divorce mediation process to ensure your agreement is fair, addresses all issues and is properly drafted and submitted with your other divorce documents.
Divorce mediation is for wimps: This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Divorce mediation is for couples who want to reach an amicable resolution to their divorce matters that maximizes and fairly distributes their collective mental, emotional and financial resources post-divorce.
Divorce mediation is for spouses who do not want to pay their attorney hundreds of dollars an hour to share their family's most intimate secrets and proverbial dirty laundry in a public courtroom, nor allow a judge whom they’ve never met determine their children's fate. In sum, it is an effective way to accomplish your best interests and succeed after your divorce, which is not cowardly.
All divorce mediators are experienced divorce attorneys: This is not true. Many professionals who handle divorce mediation in New York State are not lawyers. In fact, a large percentage of NY divorce mediators have no legal training whatsoever. As such, they may not be aware of the issues to address within the context of your divorce mediation agreement. Further, they will not know what is legally considered "fair" nor what the minimum language requirements are under the law.
Divorce mediators ensure the terms of your mediation agreement is fair: This would be ideal, but it’s not the case. A divorce mediator's job is not to ensure your agreement is "fair" for you and your spouse, as they do not represent the best interests of either party. Remember, divorce mediators are neutral third-parties who don’t represent either spouse. Their primary goal is to assist you and your spouse to reach an ultimate agreement, regardless of the terms.
Divorce mediation is a one-stop-shop:Not true! Divorce mediators can assist you and your spouse in reaching an agreement but most of them are not experienced divorce lawyers. They typically do not possess the requisite knowledge and experience needed to ensure all divorce issues have been properly addressed. Divorce mediators don’t always know if the terms and language in your agreement meet the standards of the law. Further, since most divorce mediators are not lawyers, they typically cannot draft and submit the remainder of the paperwork necessary to obtain a final divorce.
Our Dutchess County Mediation Lawyers Have Your Back
Divorce mediation carries countless benefits, one being reaching an agreement outside of the courtroom, where things can get notoriously ugly. If you are going through a divorce and facing obstacles reaching an agreement with your spouse, let our divorce mediation attorneys help you; we can either mediate or provide legal counsel during your divorce mediation.
Your best interests are at the forefront of what we do, and our family lawyers will ensure you are happy with the outcome of your divorce mediation, whatever it may be. To get started on the process, contact us online or call (845) 605-4330 today!