Why Mediate (Rather Than Litigate)?
Mediation provides you the couple with the opportunity to design your own process and outcome. Unlike when you use traditional lawyers with litigation, you – the parties – both pace the sessions and decide what to discuss and what to prioritize. This approach allows you to produce a durable agreement customized to your individual and collective needs. In each mediation session, you communicate directly and collaboratively with the guidance and support of a trained mediator. Doing so saves you more time and money (and additional stress) than is possible in the litigation context. This is especially important if you have children, since you are in the best position to determine what is best for your family and will want to do it in the most cost-effective and stress-free way.
Can Mediation Works get me a legal divorce?
Yes. Through mediation, you and your spouse will work with a neutral mediator to resolve all the issues necessary for you to move forward with your lives with dignity. Specifically, we will help you to make decisions regarding parenting arrangements (custody), child and spousal support (maintenance or alimony), division of property, assets, debts and any other issues you bring to the table. At the conclusion of the mediation, all decisions will be drafted into a legally binding “Separation Agreement” and this Agreement may be filed in court and used as the basis for obtaining a divorce. All of this can happen without either spouse ever having to step foot in court.
My partner and I can’t agree on anything – can we still mediate?
Definitely. One of the benefits of mediation is that your discussions will be facilitated by a trained mediator, ensuring that information is gathered and shared, that interests are stated, and that goals are achieved. You do not need to have already reached any agreements. Rather, all that’s necessary is that you have a willingness to discuss the issues and think about fair ways to resolve your conflicts.
My spouse and I have everything figured out – we just want to get a quick divorce. Can Mediation Works do this?
Absolutely. The more you have figured out the less time you need to spend in mediation. Sometimes it’s as simple as fine-tuning your agreements and putting them into writing. We can do this for you quickly and affordably.
Will I be able to afford Mediation?
At Mediation Works, you “pay as you go.” Unlike most traditional attorneys, there are no fees to be paid up front (no retainer fee). Mediated divorces are usually substantially less expensive than litigated divorces because you are paying one mediator instead of two attorneys and because the time spent is often much less than if you were to hire attorneys.
Will I need a lawyer if I go through Mediation?
No. You will not need an attorney to go through the mediation process. Depending on the nature of your dispute, you may wish to consult with an attorney of your choosing during the process. At Mediation Works, your mediator will provide you with basic information about the relevant law and how it affects the decisions you make. You will be encouraged by your mediator to engage a review or consulting attorney before signing any agreements to ensure that you have a full understanding of your rights and responsibilities. You can use your consulting attorney in the mediation process as little or as much as you need. Mediation Works can provide a list of New York and Brooklyn-based referral attorneys who are mediation-friendly and who respect the mediation process and decisions you will be working toward in mediation. If you are already in the mediation process, you can engage Jessica Rothberg or Catherine Hannibal as your consulting attorney. For more information about working with Jessica and Catherine, contact: Law Office.
What if I want an attorney to represent me but I don’t want a nasty court battle?
If you feel that it is important for you have a legal advocate by your side, Collaborative Practice may be your answer. Jessica Rothberg can be retained as your collaborative lawyer in this innovative approach to divorce. Your spouse will retain his or her own collaborative lawyer as well. Mutual respect is fundamental to the collaborative process. With a commitment to stay out of court and communicate openly, fair agreements are reached. Learn more by visiting the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals or contact: Law Office.
What if my dispute is not related to a separation or divorce?
At Mediation Works, we handle a variety of disputes.