Many residents in New York might have the notion that divorces are highly contested and have the tendency to get really ugly. While some of that might be true, it is not always that way and certainly does not need to be that way. Divorces are generally highly emotional though, and major decisions need to be made during the process regardless of the emotional status of the spouses. Often times, divorcing couples do not think completely rationally during these situations; however, this does not need not mean the couple needs to go straight to litigation.
In some matters, the couple could use mediation as an alternative to litigation for resolving divorce issues. In general, a mediator can help the couple work through some of the differences the couple is experiencing, helping them see the other side's position more clearly. Mediation can be used for any issue during a divorce, but it can be particularly effective for disputes regarding children.
It is often better for the children when the parents do not fight over them, and mediation is a very effective way of trying to reach an agreement to prevent these fights. Mediation can help the parents with customizing a parenting time schedule to meet their family's individual needs. It can also help with the details of specialized schedules for holidays and other special events.
There are also major financial determinations regarding child support as well during a divorce. Mediators can help divorcing parents determine child support and how they will pay for other expenses for the children such as health costs, extracurricular activities, education and other costs that may arise. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, mediation can help the parents communicate and co-parent more effectively in the future.
Divorce mediation in New York can be a very effective alternative to litigation, especially when making decisions regarding the children is at the top of the list. It is generally better when the parents do not fight about the children and mediation can be an effective tool to help avoid disputes.
Source: New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, "FAQs" accessed on Jan. 26, 2016