The Collaborative Family Law Center in New York assists couples who qualify to get their divorce without having to go to court. The body works in partnership with not-for-profit organizations, courts and law schools, offering free divorce mediation services to qualifying couples with an objective of reducing the trauma, pain and high costs of divorce on families.
The primary service offered by the Collaborative Family Law Center is divorce mediation services free of cost. The center staff first determines if a couple is eligible for mediation. Couples who qualify can get a maximum of four 90-minute sessions with mediators in case where no children are involved, and a maximum of six sessions in cases with children.
The program mediators are trained in divorce law and also specialize in opening up channels of communication. Some mediators could also be final year law students mediating under the supervision of a law professor experienced in divorce mediation.
The sessions are held at the Collaborative Family Law Center and both the spouses must be willing to participate. When an agreement is reached between the parties, it can be put in writing. The agreement then can be incorporated in a divorce judgment or order. The parties are responsible for paying the filing fees at the court.
In such face-to-face meetings, issues can be better identified and addressed. However, the moment one spouse expresses a desire to litigate, the process of divorce mediation ends. The process of divorce mediation encourages couples toward working together to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.
Source: NYCourts.gov, "Overview," Accessed on Nov. 3, 2014