Stuck at home in the pandemic like everyone else? This may be the perfect time to mediate your divorce or custody issues and finally put those issues to rest. With Family Court hearings and trials delayed or paused, most attorneys trapped in their offices or working from home, and litigants accessible from anywhere, this is the perfect time to take advantage of mediation. Mediation as an alternative to expensive litigation in a divorce can quickly allow parties to get back to the business of living their lives, reduce the significant financial and emotional burden of fighting, minimize the risk of loss, and increase the odds of a more favorable or mutually beneficial resolution.
Mediation allows the parties, not the courts or the lawyers, to control the focus, pace, and cost of the discussion. Direct communication in a less formal environment allows the parties to focus on the issues important to them, and allows them to do so outside of the “public” eye of the courtroom and court process. With “zoom” or other virtual formats, this can be done from anywhere at any time and without the intimidating or anxious courtroom of office conference room environment.
Mediation also allows for creative or non-traditional approaches to resolution. Courts calendars are restricted right now, Judges are limited by statute, case law, time and other considerations in how they can resolve a matter. You, as the arbiters of your own destiny when you choose to mediate, can seek solutions that work for your specific circumstances and make sense to you.
More than 95% of all divorce cases eventually settle. Even in litigation, the court requires every case to go through mandatory non-binding arbitration (Matrimonial Early Settlement Program) and then mandatory economic mediation. The question is whether you want to pursue that settlement at the beginning of a long, expensive process or at the end.
Sometimes litigation is unavoidable and inevitable, but why not take advantage of this difficult pandemic and use increased access and availability to seek a mutually beneficial resolution that will quickly and inexpensively permit both parties to move on with the essential and enjoyable functions of life, parenting, and business.
Drew Molotsky, Esq. is a partner and shareholder with Adinolfi, Lieberman, Burick, Falkenstein, Roberto & Molotsky, PA in Haddonfield, New Jersey. He has over 25 years’ experience practicing exclusively family law and uses his broad experience to aid clients in mutually resolving the myriad of issues that arise in divorce and other family law matters.