Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC, a well-established family law practice in Brooklyn, New York, has been helping individuals and families navigate a broad range of legal, financial, and familial matters for two decades. When handling divorce, New York family law mediation attorney George Gilmer has often found mediation to bring about the most amicable resolution. It should be noted that George deals with couples of all types, including those in the LGBTQ community.
If you are going through a divorce, you know the process is not an easy one. Dividing a family, especially a family with children, is painful and full of fiercely opposing opinions. After all, if the existing couple agreed about most things, it’s unlikely they would be divorcing. For over two decades, the Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC has provided clients with informed representation when they need it most. To learn whether mediation is the right option for you, contact us today for a consultation.
What exactly is mediation?
A simple way of understanding mediation is that it is a diplomatic, rather than antagonistic, approach to divorce. Just as two countries attempt to settle their differences through negotiation instead of combat, the two parties in mediation attempt to find a way to come to a compromise with as few angry confrontations as possible. In mediation, a neutral third party oversees disputes that might otherwise be landmines, including:
- Division of property
- Spousal maintenance (alimony)
- Child support
- Child custody
- Child visitation
Mediation is a method that has proven successful for a large number of couples. At Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC, we have found that couples who work out their differences with the help of a skilled, unbiased mediator come away feeling more empowered and less embittered.
The process is clearly designed to lower the tension level for the sake of everyone concerned, particularly any children involved. When a mediated parenting plan has been worked out by a family law lawyer, the mediator turns it into a legal document and submits it to a judge. At that point, the judge can approve and sign it so that it becomes the divorce agreement and is legally enforceable.
Preparing for Mediation
If the relationship between the two parties is fairly stabilized, you may be at a good place to seek out mediation. On the other hand, if the situation is still extremely volatile, it is probably best to wait a while until things calm down before trying to assume the roles of diplomats.
Sometimes, it is a good idea for each individual to have a few private sessions with a psychotherapist to reach a point at which sitting in the same room and having a civil conversation with one’s former partner seems not only possible, but likely to be productive.
There may also be logistical matters to be taken care of. Both you and your soon-to-be ex may need to gather financial information and other data in order to make progress with your mediator. For example, you will not be able to discuss the division of property if you haven’t had your home and other valuable items professionally appraised.
Mediation Has Many Advantages for All Concerned
For one thing, because mediation is not a battle, there is no winner and no loser. Each party is listened to in a controlled, dignified environment and no bullying is permitted to take place. In the end, a successful mediation leads to agreements that both parties regard as fair, if not always favorable. The benefits of mediation include:
- Less time spent in purposeless wrangling
- Less money spent on attorney and courtroom fees
- More privacy since mediation is confidential, whereas trials are public
- Neither party being taken advantage of since there is a mediator present to oversee
- Parties can confer with their lawyers, or, in some cases, have a lawyer present
- Most mediations settle all divorce issues during several sessions
- Mediation, based on each party’s concept of fairness, is more flexible decisions based on legal statutes
- Mediation is run by a neutral party who will promote negotiations, not make judgments
Best of all, in many cases, going through the process of mediation teaches the couple to communicate more effectively. They may find that they can work more purposefully going forward, with fewer conflicts and less stress.
Mediation Is Not Right for Everyone
There are situations in which mediation will not be possible, but it’s best not to count it out as an option until you speak to a capable, compassionate mediator like George Gilmer first. It is usually possible, for example, to arrange for each party to meet individually with him at first, which may provide each with the ability to be perfectly frank and establish a personal, trusting relationship with him.
Mediation will not work if one or both parties are not open to listening and compromise, or if the marital relationship has been an abusive one. In the former situation, mediation will simply waste everyone’s time since give and take is impossible. In the latter, mediation may be intimidating or even frightening for the party who has been victimized. In worst-case scenarios, it may even be dangerous for all concerned.
Contact Our Brooklyn Family Law Mediation Attorney to Find Out if Mediation Is Right for You
Assuming that you and your divorcing partner can agree that mediation is a good idea, you should definitely try it. The financial and emotional benefits are many, and you can always reconsider your decision if the process doesn’t seem to be working. For the great majority of couples committed to making it work, mediation is much less stressful than spending seemingly endless hours preparing for the misery of a trial.
Just think, if you go through mediation, you won’t experience the stress of having your family’s dirty laundry aired in public, or the fear that your children will be further pained, frightened, or embarrassed by the trial. Mediation can be a way of calming the waters of divorce and helping all of you move ahead into a more comfortable future.
We also handle other types of family law cases, including:
- Cohabitation agreements
- Restraining order
- Restraining order defense
- Temporary emergency custody
Contact our Brooklyn family law mediation lawyer today.