LONG ISLAND DIVORCE MEDIATION PROCESS
When you select us as your mediators, we meet for an initial 30 minute free consultation, where we explain to both parties, the Husband and Wife in our office and or virtually, the advantages of Mediation and how we cover all issues during our sessions, culminating in the Settlement Agreement, the signing and initialing of such by the parties, followed by us filing the papers in court on your behalf. After the initial free consult, we offer you a reduced rate to start the process immediately over the next half hour. We then arrange to meet with you subsequently within a week to 10 days to keep the flow of the mediation process intact. The process itself is divided into 6 sections as shown below.
We go session to session during which we address all issues in a systematic manner in a 3-pronged approach; from custody, to finances and concluding with equitable distribution, which means division of property. The sessions usually last approximately 1 hour, at which time the dynamic team of an attorney and social worker are there to navigate you through the process, not representing either side, but guiding you to facilitate an amicable agreement that benefits both parties representing both your interests. On average there are approximately 4-6 sessions, including the Review Session, which is addressed below. During the initial stage of custody we first undertake residential custody, which is where the child(ren) will be primarily residing, unless the children will be living 50% with one parent and 50% with the other, which is then known as shared custody. We then tackle legal custody, which is decision making that both parents will engage in, regardless who has primary custody, to decide what is best for their child(ren), which includes; medical, educational, religious components, as well as extra – curricular activities. Additionally, during this juncture, we calculate child support based on finances and the percentages by law depending on the number of children the parties have and address a visitation schedule during the week, as well as on weekends, including holidays. Once we complete all issues relating to custody, we then move on to the next section, which are finances, including maintenance, the breakdown of the marital home, whether the house will be sold and proceeds split and/or if one remains and has to buy the other one out. Moreover, we discuss pensions/retirement benefits, 401k’s, 403b’s and the like during this time as well. The last and final section relates to equitable distribution in the home and/or any items accumulated during the marriage, such as the couch, beds, silverware and so on. We make the parties aware that via mediation, we emphasize the importance of compromise and the efficiency of the process, which is done in a much quicker manner than via litigation, not to mention less stressful and less financially burdensome.