People have a number of misconceptions about the legal system, particularly when it comes to divorce and other family law matters. Too often, people see highly sensationalized stories that create false expectations and understandings of the process.
This can be the case when it comes to mediation as an option for resolving family legal issues. People often fail to appreciate what mediation can do and, more often, what it will not do. Below, we look at three of the things mediation will not do.
- It will not force you to agree to unfavorable terms: Mediation is about finding a fair and satisfactory resolution to difficult issues. You cannot be forced into a decision, and courts can still reject a settlement under certain circumstances, including blatant unfairness or involuntary signing by one party.
- It will not make you fend for yourself: Mediation can involve numerous parties to help you secure a fair agreement. In addition to your attorney and your mediator, you could have financial analysts, counselors for your children and real estate appraisers who will help you assess your situation and make informed decisions. You are not without resources.
- It will not lead to flimsy, unenforceable terms: The resolutions you reach in mediation are not suggestions. Once approved by the courts, they are as strong and enforceable as any court order. If one person violates the terms you established through mediation, there can be serious consequences and penalties.
Misunderstanding what mediation will and will not do can prove to be a costly mistake. This misinterpretation can lead people to deny mediation or expect things from it that are unrealistic, which can lead to contentious battles and a drawn-out divorce.
Our hope is that we cleared up some misconceptions associated with mediation. Should you have any additional questions or concerns about this process, and how it might work for you, you can talk to an attorney who is familiar with divorce mediation in New Jersey.