Mediation is one of several Complementary Dispute Resolution Programs governed by New Jersey Court Rule 1:40. Mediation provides the parties in a family law matter with the opportunity to resolve their issues in a structured setting with the assistance of a neutral and impartial third party mediator. The parties will meet together with the mediator and work towards an amicable resolution of the issues pertaining to their family law matter.
Counsel for the parties may, but are not required, to participate in the mediation process. Mediation provides an excellent opportunity to settle all issues including custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, equitable distribution of all assets/liabilities and counsel fees. A successful mediation eliminates the substantial emotional and financial costs of a family law matter that is litigated in the Superior Court.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation can save time, the substantial expense of litigation and mitigate the emotional costs of a litigated matter. The mediation process eliminates the formality of litigation in the New Jersey Family Part where parties can spend a year or several years in litigation with Case Management Conferences, formal discovery, Early Settlement Panels, Intensive Settlement Conferences, Pre-Trial Conferences and Trial.
Mediation is a fair and neutral process where the mediator has no personal interest in the outcome beyond assisting the parties in reaching an amicable settlement. The experienced mediator can assist the parties in minimizing the “emotions” and find creative solutions to the issues in dispute.
Mediation takes place in the confidential setting of the mediator’s office. The parties do not have to endure the uncomfortable experience of frequent appearances at a County Courthouse where Sheriff’s Officers monitor every action, a court report records every statement and parties are consumed with the anxiety of a court proceeding and the lack of privacy. At mediation, any notes taken by the mediator are discarded at the conclusion of mediation and the parties’ personal lives do not become part of a public record.