Experienced NJ Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
At Romanowski Law Offices, we serve as both lawyers and mediators for New Jersey divorces. Our attorneys have vast experience in all forms of divorce proceedings, and can help you choose the type of divorce that makes the most sense for you. If you decide to pursue mediation, we can represent you through the process; or, we can work with both you and your spouse directly to achieve a mutually-acceptable outcome.
An Overview of the Mediation Process
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which the spouses work with a neutral third-party. This “mediator” helps them come to terms on all aspects of their divorce. The mediator does not make decisions for the spouses, but rather uses a variety of proven methods and techniques to help them reach their own, mutually-agreeable conclusions. These can include:
- Clarifying each spouse’s interests and desires
- Challenging the spouses’ assumptions
- Increasing the spouses’ capacity for listening and problem solving
- Acknowledging that there can be more than one “right” answer, and avoiding unilateral declarations of truth and falsehood
- Recognizing that the chances of simply convincing one spouse to accept the other’s position are minimal
- Helping the spouses reflect on their perspectives in order to find interests that they may have in common
In mediation, the spouses may work directly with each other and the mediator; or, they may each choose to hire their own attorney to advise and represent them. At Romanowski Law Offices, we serve as both advocates and mediators for marriage dissolutions in New Jersey.
Benefits of Mediating Your Divorce
Mediation is Less Adversarial
The purpose of mediation is to reach an amicable resolution without letting personal differences interfere with the spouses’ shared goal of ending their marriage. Spouses often come into sessions with competing interests. For example, they may disagree over spousal support, custody rights, or how to divide their property. However, if they commit to the process and the philosophy behind it, they can resolve their differences without making the situation worse than it has to be. This is valuable in any case, but particularly where the couple has children who will have to live with the aftermath of the divorce.
Mediation is Less Expensive
In most cases, successfully mediating your divorce will cost substantially less than taking your spouse to court. While each client’s situation is unique, mediating a divorce typically takes around six to fifteen hours of direct contact time. This is in addition to the time necessary to evaluate your options, discuss strategy, prepare for sessions, and draft documents. However, when you consider that the legal fees for a heavily-contested divorce can climb into the six-figures, it is easy to see that mediation tends to be the more efficient and cost-effective solution.
In addition to legal fees, divorce litigation frequently involves obtaining expert reports and testimony regarding finances, asset valuation, and maybe even fitness for parenting. In mediation, you and your spouse have to pay the mediator – and you may choose to seek the guidance of a financial advisor or family counselor – however, this is far less expensive than establishing credible expertise in court.
Choosing a Mediator or Attorney for Your Divorce
Mediators tend to be divided in how they approach the role of law in mediation. Some rely heavily on what a court would decide if the case went to trial, authoritatively suggesting that law should be the controlling standard used to end the parties’ conflict. Other mediators, concerned that the parties might simply defer too readily to the law and miss the opportunity to find more creative solutions, keep the law out of the mediation.
Our Approach to Mediation
Our approach is to employ legal perspectives as warranted, without relying solely on the law. We focus on:
- Educating the parties about the law and possible legal outcomes, and
- Supporting their freedom to develop creative solutions that may differ from what a court would decide but more appropriately reflect their needs and desires.
This approach allows the parties to reach agreements together that address their respective interests and common goals while also being well informed about their legal rights and the judicial alternatives to a mediated settlement.
At Romanowski Law Offices, we use a sliding-scale fee structure for mediated divorces that takes into account the complexity of your situation and other economic factors. As your advocate, Mr. Romanowski’s goal is to help you dissolve your marriage as efficiently as possible while ensuring that the outcome meets your needs and reflects your rights under the law. As a mediator, Mr. Romanowski strives to help each spouse recognize the other’s priorities and concerns in order to develop a joint resolution that is reflective of both individuals’ personal and economic interests.
Contact Romanowski Law Offices about Your Divorce
If you are contemplating a divorce in New Jersey and have questions about what to do next, Romanowski Law Offices can help. Call (732) 603-8585 or request an expert consultation online today.