Many couples would rather avoid an adversarial courtroom divorce, and understandably so. Airing private matters in public, exposing your children to legal battles and enduring conflict for a year or more make alternatives to litigation very appealing. In addition to his experience as an attorney, Chris Palermo is a trained mediator on Long Island, who provides divorce mediation for clients. Having a mediator who is also a lawyer brings a legal perspective to the mediation table, which is so valuable for making informed decisions. Today, as more and more cases settle without going to trial (according to Forbes, 95 percent), mediation is an increasingly popular method of dispute resolution.
Mediation is much less formal than arbitration or litigation. It is not subject to court procedures and has greater flexibility for scheduling sessions (no waiting for hearing dates on crowded court dockets).
A mediator is an impartial third party who works to facilitate communication between both spouses. Finding common grounds and areas where spouses can agree or reach a compromise helps them overcome obstacles and resolve issues. Mediation occurs in a cooperative atmosphere where couples are allowed to express their views. Mediation sessions are generally held in a conference room or office. Sessions may involve both spouses, be held separately or be a combination of both.
Life goes on after divorce, and couples who used mediation are generally in better emotional shape to communicate with each other about issues involving their children or finances. Children generally experience less stress when they see their parents can get along. According to the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC), the tendency for voluntary compliance with child support agreements is 80 percent after divorce mediation, compared with 40 percent after litigated divorce.
Couples can save thousands of dollars using mediation, and divorces finalize in a quarter of the time that it takes to litigate. Time and money saved makes turning a new chapter in your lives as single parents an easier feat.
I respect your decision to divorce and want to make the process go as smoothly for you as possible. My goal is to help you gain an informed legal perspective and find points of agreement so you can make the right decisions. The decisions you make during mediation can affect your life for the long term, so they need to be the right decisions.