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Resolving disputes creatively

Required knowledge for family law mediators in New York

Going through a divorce in New York can be a confusing and emotional time for the people involved in the process. There are numerous important decisions that must be made that will have a long-term impact on the parties and their children. Due to the emotional nature of the proceedings, often times a person's judgment may be clouded and the decisions may be based on spite more than rational thinking.

That is why the mediation process can be very beneficial divorce method for some divorcing couples. The mediator assists the couple in coming to a resolution. However, in order to properly assist the couple, the mediator must be knowledgeable in the process as well as the law.

That is why mediators are expected to and should have the proper education. It is expected that they have knowledge of family law. This means that they understand child custody laws, child support, spousal maintenance, divorce procedure and how finances work in divorce. This can include budgeting, identifying income, asset valuation, debts, tax implications, insurance issues and others.

In addition to understanding the legal aspects, a mediator is also expected to be knowledgeable in how family conflict affects the children and parties as well as child development and how abuse affects them. They must also be knowledgeable in the mediation process and understand the cultural impacts on the family.

Many couples in New York use mediation during their divorce. It can be an effective tool to help the couple resolve divorce issues. However, it is very important that the mediator is knowledgeable in the relevant law, mediation procedures, the impact on the family and cultural issues in order to best mediate the divorce. Because mediation is not the method for everyone, it is important to understand this and other divorce methods available to divorcing spouses. This will ensure that the needs of the parties involved can be met while also protecting their rights and interests.

Source: NY State Council on Divorce Mediation, "Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation" accessed on May 2, 2016

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