Many divorcing couples are looking towards alternate dispute resolution tactics as a means to settle their cases and move on with their lives. Court backlogs and the high cost of contentious divorces have been driving forces in moving couples from traditional divorce tracks to either arbitration or mediation. Often these two processes are mistaken for each other, but the two are indeed very different. Mediation and arbitration do share some commonalities. Both are confidential, cost-effective, and expeditious alternatives to mainstream divorce litigation.
In arbitration, the process requires that each spouse voluntarily submit their divorce matter to a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, who ultimately renders a final ruling on the settlement. The arbitrator is mutually selected by the litigants and may be a matrimonial attorney or a former judge. Key in the selection of an arbitrator is that they are experienced and familiar with the nuances of matrimonial law. There are some instances where the court will appoint an arbitrator when the spouses cannot agree. The role of the arbitrator is to act much like a judge would during a trial. The proceedings are usually much less formal than a trial, but the arbitrator does render a decision much in the same fashion as a judge. The cost of arbitration is usually divided between the parties.
Private mediation is also a voluntary and confidential process. The goal of private mediation is to maintain a non-adversarial atmosphere that provides the parties with the opportunity to create a settlement structure personalized to their unique situation. Generally, both parties share in the cost of the mediator, who again may be a matrimonial attorney or a retired judge. The role of a divorce mediator in New Jersey is to serve as a neutral third party during negotiations and help facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution.
Contact Adinolfi & Packman for Divorce Mediation and Arbitration
Adinolfi & Packman, PA is fortunate to have Judge Joseph Testa (Ret) of Counsel with the firm. Judge Testa , a previous family law attorney, spent 15 years on the bench with the majority of that time serving in Family Law in Cumberland County. He is focusing his practice on providing arbitration, mediation, and high conflict case management services to the bench, the bar, and the public. Please contact Cheryl Betten at our New Jersey offices for more information. Call 856-428-8334 x 258 or contact us online.