Mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution which offers parties a different venue to resolve their differences. In matrimonial cases, parties are free to select a mutually agreed upon Mediator in an effort to resolve all issues regarding their marriage and divorce, including but not limited to custody and parenting time, support, and equitable distribution.
The role of the Mediator is to facilitate an agreement between the parties, not provide legal advice. The Mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding, setting forth the parties positions and intent, but this document is not an Agreement. It is strongly recommended that each party have legal counsel during this process so each understands their rights and responsibilities, and to ultimately draft a global settlement incorporating the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding. The Mediator can educate, but not advise either party of his or her legal rights.
Many parties start the divorce process by filing a Complaint. Even though the Complaint has been filed, parties can still utilize the services of a mediator. However, you need to understand that once the Complaint is filed, the Court now has jurisdiction over your case. This means, the clock has now started to tick and you will be required to meet various deadlines and appear in court. As one can imagine, this can be quite costly given that both parties are normally represented by attorneys and most parties will have to take time off from work to attend these Court appearances.& ;