Family Law Mediators
Not all family law issues have to result in bitter disputes at trial. In many situations, mediation provides a more flexible and less costly option for reaching an effective resolution that satisfy all parties involved.
At Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP, we are dedicated to employing mediation, as well as other methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), as a way to resolve issues in a divorce. Whatever issues arise in your divorce, our New Jersey family law mediators are prepared to work to resolve the disputes of both parties in a cooperative forum.
Mediation allows you to work with a neutral professional toward solutions regarding some of the most important decisions of your life. Contact our law firm to learn more about your options.
The Benefits of Alternate Dispute Resolution to Resolve Family Law Disputes
Alternate dispute resolution allows you, rather than the family court, to control the process of resolving issues in your divorce. It provides you with the opportunity to make creative decisions and create workable solutions regarding issues such as:
- Child custody
- Visitation/parenting time
- Child support
- College tuition and child support
- Spousal support
- Division of property and assets
- Premarital agreements
- Cohabitation and palimony
While courts are bound by strict rules and procedures, ADR provides flexibility in the negotiations, the time frames for resolving issues, and the evidence that should be presented. Typically, mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce are less expensive, less time-consuming and less stressful than divorce court litigation. ADR allows:
- Flexibility and self-determination in the time frames for resolving disputes
- Negotiations that are not determined by court proceedings
- Substantially lower costs
- Confidentiality of all proceedings and negotiations
- More control over who decides the issues
- Agreements that are far more comprehensive and detailed than judicial decisions
At Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP, our lawyers are regarded as leaders in the field of New Jersey family law mediation. Firm partners Amy Zylman Shimalla and Amy Wechsler are Accredited Divorce and Family Mediators by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. In addition, partners Heidi Ann Lepp and Michele D’Onofrio have also completed required continuing legal education to provide mediation services.
In mediation, a trained neutral professional meets with two or more parties to facilitate resolution of their issues. Unlike arbitration, the neutral party does not decide the issues and the end result is nonbinding. When serving as mediators, our lawyers assist couples to reach mutually acceptable agreements, and may bring in experts to address specific issues (i.e., business valuation experts, accountants, custody experts). Mediators do not provide therapy, and they do not provide legal advice to clients or otherwise serve in any partisan capacity. Parties can choose to participate in mediation with or without legal counsel. However, when legal questions arise, for which the parties should obtain legal advice, we encourage our mediation clients to obtain legal advice from their own lawyers. We act as mediators, both privately and in court-mandated programs.
When our attorneys represent individual clients, in many instances we encourage them to attend mediation. When they do, our role is to assist them by providing legal advice to them throughout the process, reviewing the agreements reached in the mediation, and sometimes even accompanying them to mediation sessions. The extent of our involvement is always determined with the client, based on the client’s needs.
Contact Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP
If you are considering mediation as an alternative to divorce litigation, please contact our Warren Township, New Jersey firm by email, or call 908-922-4238 today to schedule a consultation with a meditation attorney. We serve Middlsex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Union, Morris, Monmouth, Mercer, and Essex counties, and surrounding areas.
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