New York Divorce Mediation

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Selection of mediator in New York Divorce Mediation

Possibly, the most crucial decision that a divorcing couple makes is the selection of a divorce mediator. The reason is that there is no test which the prospective mediators must pass to become a divorce mediator. The state does not issue any license certifying that the prospective mediators have completed a particular course of study. So, a lawyer, a mental health professional or anybody for that matter can claim to be a mediator. Some people display certificates on the wall which is a proof that they have completed a brief course on the subject. All the above facts prove that it is a tough job to select a mediator.

The points to ponder upon while selecting a mediator are-

  • Professional background or qualification, quality of education and previous experience
  • For what period of time the person has been busy in divorce mediation?
  • Number of cases handled by the person
  • Whether the previous professional experience was related to divorce mediation?
  • Is divorce mediation the main occupation of the person that is done on full time basis or "on the side" work done on a part time basis?
  • Divorce mediation comprises of 3 issues-
    • Assisting the parties to reach an agreement
    • Preparing the written form of the agreement and confirming its execution
    • Assisting the parties to get the divorce

    A majority of mediators do not perform all the above 3 issues. So, the time and expenses to complete the process can considerably increase.

  • Reputation of the mediator in the society
  • The level of comfort experienced by the divorcing partner in presence of the mediator with respect to issues like-
    • Does the mediator appear knowledgeable and intelligent along with a professional attitude?
    • Does the divorcing partner feel safe with the mediator?
    • Does the mediator have an approach of a caring person and is the mediator successful in imbibing confidence in the divorcing partner?
  • Can the divorcing partner afford the mediator in terms of money?

Does New York divorce mediation result in a legally binding agreement?

The agreement written after divorce mediation is to be signed by both the divorcing partners. Further, this agreement is executed by a method that is directed by the law. So, this agreement is legally binding. The level of legal binding on the agreement after divorce mediation is identical to the level of legal binding on the decision of a Judge after an adversarial divorce proceeding.

Difference in frustration over mediation and litigation

If one or both of the divorcing partners are frustrated that the mediation is not proceeding as per their desires, then they can simply stand up and leave the mediation. Nobody can stop them from terminating the mediation in this way.

In case of litigation, it is like traveling in a runaway train, which can be started by the divorcing partners but none of them have the power to stop it, if they are frustrated over the way it is progressing. After beginning the process, as one loses control of its proceedings, this is a very scary scenario.

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