•   the law office of ann m. pompelio llc
  • 973-383-3900
    61 spring street, 4th floor, newton, nj 07860

Mediation


It is a process where both sides, provided there is no restraining order in place, work together with a trained professional to help them reach an agreement about their conflicts. The mediator is neutral. The mediator does not advocate for either side, nor does the mediator make any decisions or rulings. The mediator is not either side's lawyer, and does not appear in court with the parties.

You should meet with a mediator. You will both want to feel that you can work with that person. If you are considering working with a mediator to work out family law issues, you may want to know that the mediator is experienced in family law. The New Jersey Supreme Court approves as mediators lawyers and other professionals who successfully complete a rigorous training program. You may want to know if the person you are considering hiring as a mediator has been approved by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a mediator.

You both must want to mediate. A mediator cannot mediate with only one person. Both sides need to be able to talk to each other and listen to each other. If one person feels intimidated or overpowered by the other, mediation is probably not right for you. Both sides need to disclose all their financial information to the mediator and to each other. A mediator cannot help you reach a fair and reasonable settlement in a divorce if one or both of you are not forthcoming with the financial information, including all of your assets and all of your debts.

Mediation usually costs much less than litigation. The cost will depend on how much time the mediator spends in mediation sessions with you, and in reviewing your information, and in preparing your settlement agreement. The mediator charges an hourly rate, and requires a retainer up front to cover a certain amount of hours. You will be required to refresh the retainer if the retainer runs out before the work is done. If there is retainer money uncarned by the mediator at the conclusion of your case, you are entitled to get the unused retainer back.

After all of your issues are resolved, the mediator will draft a settlement agreement. Each side is free to, and should have, the agreement reviewed by a lawyer. The signed agreement can then be incorporated into a judgment of divorce.

No. Mediation can be used for all aspects of family law except in cases where a restraining order exists between the parties. If an issue arises after your divorce regarding custody, parenting time, support, or other provisions in your Settlement Agreement, you can work with a mediator to resolve your differences. In some cases, you are required to try mediation before filing a litigation action with the court. A mediator can help you reach a fair and reasonable solution, and can prepare a document that you can ask the court to enter as an order.

If one or both of you decide that mediation is not working, mediation will end. Any unearned retainer money will be returned to you.

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