Divorce Mediation – A Better Solution

Currently 1 of every 2 U.S. marriages ends in divorce – litigated divorces can go on for years, become very expensive and drain the emotional & financial resources of divorcing couples. The hostility and disruption to the quality of life of parties inherent in litigation often has a lasting negative impact on the parties and the children involved.

My goal as a Divorce Mediator is to assist couples who have decided to divorce to resolve the issues of their divorce in a holistic efficient manner that supports smooth transitioning and reserves resources – both emotional & financial resources that can be used to promote happiness.

Divorce Mediation is non-adversarial, voluntary & confidential process where the mediator, a trained neutral third party, diffuses tension and promotes communication. Through supported communication the parties can work together on solutions to the issues in their divorce.

Divorce Mediation is future focused. It bridges gaps between individuals and also within individuals. Couples begin the process as husband and wife and emerge from the process with plans for their individual futures.

A mediated divorce often involves 5 to 6 sessions. The sessions or visits last from one to two hours in length. Necessary topics are discussed one at a time and a memorandum of understanding is built upon the agreements. As an Attorney as well as a Mediator I can incorporate this memorandum into a Separation Agreement when it is completed and reviewed. The completed Agreement can then be filed in Court in your uncontested divorce.

The time frame for a mediated divorce rests primarily in the hands of the divorcing couple- what are your schedules and availability – you set the pace and the result is an agreement that suits your unique family situation.

New York has recently (October 2010) adopted a true no-fault divorce ground, D.R.L. 170(7), which allows couples to divorce without assigning any blame. The new law provides that a husband or wife may be granted a judgment or divorce on the ground that: “(7) The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath.” Couples seeking a mediated divorce have been pleased to be utilizing this new less hostile ground.

Divorce Mediation involves informed decision making. Marriage is a financial as well as an emotional union and the couple will have to make decisions regarding equitable distribution of marital property. As a divorce mediator I facilitate the discussions such as whether certain property is marital, whether the marital home should be retained or sold, what is done about timeshares, boats and other vehicles. If couples have family owned businesses or licenses obtained during marriage they are encouraged to get the assistance of experts in valuing these items. I assist couples to make informed decisions regarding any savings, pension plans and other assets.

Divorce Mediation is positive for children. Studies have shown that the key factor in determining whether children make a good adjustment post separation and divorce is how well their parents cooperate. Parents who mediate the issues surrounding parenting and support of their children have an opportunity to express their differences in opinions, develop mutual understanding, protect their children from the adult conflict, improve and shape their future parenting relationship.

Authored by: Patricia Powis

Patricia A. Powis
Attorney, Mediator, Guardianships, Estates, 
Family Law
The Law Office of Patricia A. Powis

600 Old Country Road, Suite 520
Garden City, New York 11530
t: 516-240-5180
f: 877-648-9565
patricia@powislaw.com
www.PowisLaw.com

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