Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party helps clients to resolve family law disputes and reach a negotiated settlement that is satisfactory to both parties. Any family law issue can be resolved through mediation including, divorce, alimony, equitable distribution, child custody, support obligations, modifications of existing support obligations and more.
At mediation parties can reach partial resolutions meaning they resolve some, but not all of the issues in disputes or full resolutions where they resolve all issues. For example, in a divorce parties may be able to resolve custody issues at mediation, but may disagree on the financial issues.
During mediation, the mediator will work with both parties to identify obstacles that are preventing a settlement and help parties overcome them. In complex and high net worth cases experts such as accountants with a background in family law may also serve as mediators or assist in the mediation process. Parties can attend mediation with or without attorneys.
Mediation is a voluntary process. A mediator does not represent the interests of either party and cannot force either party to enter into an agreement or accept a resolution.
Mediation is also a confidential process. Any communication or information exchanged during mediation cannot be presented to a judge and cannot used as evidence in a subsequent court proceeding. Additionally, mediators cannot be called to testify in a subsequent court proceeding about the mediation or communications exchanged during the mediation. The purposes of making mediation confidential is to encourage settlement and eliminate the fear that positions and information provided for settlement purposes will be used against a party, if mediation is unsuccessful and litigation becomes necessary.
Most parties find mediation beneficial because they are able to avoid the conflict, time and expense of protracted litigation. Additionally, parties have control over the outcome of the resolution and can be more creative with the settlement. During litigation, a judge may issue decisions and orders that neither party likes.
For questions regarding mediation or any other family law related issue, please contact the attorneys of Ulrichsen Rosen & Freed LLC. Our firm is focused exclusively on the practice of family law and serves clients throughout New Jersey including clients residing in Mercer County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Burlington County and Middlesex County.
Additionally, each partner at Ulrichsen Rosen & Freed LLC is qualified to serve as an independent mediator under New Jersey Court Rule 1:40.