Divorce mediation is a more efficient, less expensive method used to settle disputes. During mediation, a neutral, called the mediator, helps the parties create their own settlement. Mediation usually takes place in an attorney’s office or at a mediation center—a welcome change from a courtroom. New York divorce mediators will work with each party to ensure that their concerns are addressed. If mediation is successful, the divorce mediator will memorialize the agreement in a document, which will then be submitted to the New York courts to become part of a court order.
During mediation, the mediator often meets with the parties separately. Each party is free to be open and candid with the mediator about the case. The mediator will take each party’s concerns and wants into account, and will then address these with the other party. After hearing each party’s position, the mediator will begin suggesting ways that the parties may compromise and finalize their dispute.
The divorce mediator, in contrast to a family court judge, does not make any decisions for the parties. Each party is free to accept or reject any settlement terms that are suggested.
A divorce mediator is only involved with the case at mediation. Once the mediation session ends, the mediator will play no further role in the case, unless the parties request an additional mediation session to discuss any lingering issues. However, divorce mediators are often able to help the parties settle their cases in a matter of hours.