Chatham Divorce Mediation
Divorce & Family Law Mediators in Morris County, New Jersey
One way to reach an agreement is through mediation. Mediation is a confidential process where parties meet with a mediator, who is usually an attorney. The mediator is not an advocate for either party and does not give legal advice. As a result, the goal of mediation is not identifying what each party is entitled to under law, but rather ascertaining what each party can live with in terms of an agreement. At the conclusion of mediation, the mediator drafts a document called a Memorandum of Understanding, or “MOU.”
The MOU is a tentative, nonbinding statement of the terms discussed in mediation. Generally, the MOU is not an enforceable agreement and is typically afforded the same level of confidentiality as the mediation process itself. To make the MOU binding the parties, either directly or assisted by counsel, reduce the terms in the MOU into a Matrimonial Settlement Agreement or other applicable agreement (see, Agreements), which, when properly entered and executed, represents a binding resolution of the open issues.
Both of our attorneys are qualified family law mediators and experience great satisfaction in serving clients both as mediators, and as attorneys assisting clients undergoing mediation. Our attorneys recommend engaging a family law attorney prior to or during the mediation process, even if the attorney does not attend the mediation. Why? Since the mediator does not give legal advice, a party should know the law and how his or her claims measure up according to the law. Learning this information preemptively instead of after-the-fact helps to prevent “buyer’s remorse”, which can arise, for example, when a party undertakes review of the MOU with an attorney after mediation.
Mediation is not the only path to an agreement. For example, parties can reach agreements directly with one another and then retain respective counsel to draft and finalize the terms; or attorneys can work directly with one another to reach agreements for their clients outside of mediation.
Contact Lazor Rantas, PC
The legal team at Lazor Rantas, PC can help you navigate the mediation process. For quality legal representation to help you through your divorce, contact Lazor Rantas, PC today.