Steps In The Private Divorce Mediation Process

First: Meeting The Mediator

The private divorce mediation process generally begins with the parties meeting with an experienced mediator like me, Ocean County, New Jersey, attorney Sarina Gianna.

  • Sometimes, the mediation process starts after the parties have already retained their own attorneys, and the mediator would meet either with the parties alone, or with the parties and their lawyers.
  • On other occasions, the parties have not retained attorneys and the mediator meets them without counsel.
  • Many times the mediation is compelled by the court.

Second: Providing Documentation

Whether the mediation starts with or without attorneys, the next step is for the parties to provide the mediator with the information that is necessary to analyze the various issues.

  • This can include copies of past tax returns, financial disclosure forms, and present and future budgets, account statements from financial, retirement or debt accounts, copies of the pleadings filed with the court (if any), and any proposed agreements or stipulations on the various issues.

Third: Analyzing The Information And Identifying Issues

Once the necessary information is provided, the parties, and their attorneys if applicable, will meet with the mediator to begin analyses and identifying resolutions to the issues.

  • These meetings may be with everyone together, working together in one room, or with the mediator separating each side in different rooms and talking with each of them separately. An effective mediation is usually a combination of these two methods.

Fourth: Preparing The Agreement

After all of the issues have been resolved, the mediator will prepare a written agreement. This is not a complete divorce decree or judgment, but is an agreement that represents a resolution of the issues in the mediation.

  • Once this agreement is prepared, the parties can either have their attorneys prepare the necessary paperwork to finalize the divorce through the court, or the parties decide to take these steps themselves without the assistance of counsel.

Finally: Submitting The Agreement To Court

Either way, a formal divorce judgment must still be obtained through the court to turn the mediation agreement into a binding divorce judgment from the court.

Want to find out if private divorce mediation is right for you? Contact my office today by calling 732-451-6849 or using my online contact form.