One of your options to control the outcomes in New Jersey divorce and child custody matters is use of mediation procedures. Mediation allows both parties, both parents to state their preferences and to come to an agreement outside a courtroom.
Some typical issues that can be resolved through mediation include: 1) living arrangements for the children, 2) childcare choices and expenses, 3) non-custodial parent and grandparent visitation, 4) education choices and expenses, and 5) medical choices and expenses.
Since these issues tend to involve both emotional and financial aspects, having an experienced family lawyer representing you in your mediation process can bring better results for you and your children in the long run.
New Jersey state laws and prior court decisions influence mediations as well as court proceedings, establishing the rights of both spouses in a divorce matter, and also the rights of the children in a custody matter.
Mediation is not an alternative to divorce, since ending a marriage is a legal status that must be terminated by court order. But mediation prior to or during the divorce process can be used to establish agreements between the parties, which is something a judge will generally honor when it represents fairness to both sides.
And mediation is not an alternative to court-ordered custody, but it is a much better alternative than a hostile custody battle. Judges welcome mediated custody agreements between divorcing parents because they often allow the parties to work through their differences with a third-party mediator before they arrive in court, saving time, court costs and heartaches.
Sometimes a mediator is assigned to a case in Family Court in New Jersey, or a mediator may be chosen by the parties, but in a divorce and custody matter each party is also represented by their counsel, usually a family lawyer representing them in the legal suit.
The result of successful mediation is a Memorandum of Understanding or a Consent Order. It outlines the terms of the agreements and it is signed by both parties as well as the mediator, before presentation to the judge for signature.
After the judge signs it, then the agreement becomes an enforceable court order in the divorce and custody matter.
Having a New Jersey family lawyer when you are involved in divorce and custody mediation is an important decision with the likelihood of far-reaching consequences in your own life and the lives of your children. Call us for a no-obligation consultation, (732) 365-3299. Or email us to make an appointment.