Are you considering divorce? Consider mediation!
Divorce Doesn't Have to be a Drag!
Top¬†Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce
Couples who mediate their divorce are¬†3x LESS likely to return to court.
Mediation allows for non-legal factors to be included in an agreement.
Mediation takes less time than conventional divorce.
Mediation costs less money than conventional divorce.
Mediation includes all your wishes and concerns in an agreement you both decide upon.
Divorce doesn't have to be the long drawn out drag of the past. Choose something different for the next step in your living separate lives. Contact us today.¬† Have questions and concerns?¬† Take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions below.
What can Peacemaker do for me?
The divorce mediators at The Peacemaker Program will¬†help you organize your thoughts and make sure each of you are heard, and that your wishes are taken into consideration.¬† We will write agreements for you that can then be taken to court and filed along with the paperwork that the courts require for non-contested divorces in New York State. We can help with your child visitation agreement, spousal maintenance, child support, and more. We can also give you a heads-up on how to file with the court system, costs and where to find more information.
What is mediation?
Mediation is an informal way to resolve disputes outside of the court system. Participants have an opportunity to find their own solutions to their issues with the help of a neutral third person. There is no agreement unless both people approve.
Mediation is inexpensive or free, is confidential and faster than a trial, improves communication, preserves relationships and produces lasting agreements.
Who are the divorce mediators?
Divorce Mediators typically work in mixed-gender pairs, and your family will have the same team throughout the process.¬† These mediators have been certified in accordance with standards set by the New York State Unified Court System.¬† Before being assigned to a team, the people you will be working with started by earning their basic, Community-based mediation certifications.¬† These practitioners¬†then went on to¬†training, apprenticeship,¬†certification and experience in Family-related disciplines such as Custody and Visitation, Parent-Teen, Child Support, and more.
Do I have to be divorcing in order to use this service?
No.¬† Couples who are separating on a trial basis or contemplating divorce may also use the service.¬† In addition, couples who are not, or never have been, married, but whose relationships are ending can benefit from the service as they look to separate their lives and property.
What kind of issues can be discussed in Divorce & Separation Mediation?
Any topic that is important to you. Divorce mediators are trained to handle almost any imaginable issue. Common topics of discussion include:
- Temporary/Interim Agreements during Separation
- Parenting Plans, including Custody & Visitation
- Financial Planning, including Budgeting, Income, Assets, Liabilities, Spousal Maintenace (aka Alimony) and Child Support
- Division of Personal Property
Who can participate in the mediation process; can I have an attorney present?
Anyone who has a stake in the process may attend the mediation sessions, as long as the couple agrees.¬† Attorneys and other experts are welcome, with the understanding that they are present as advisors, and that the mediation is not a court proceeding.¬† Older children and other family members are also sometimes involved.
Are Divorce Mediators attorneys?
Divorce Mediators come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including law, social work, and more. However, even if a mediator is AN attorney, they are not YOUR attorney; they are your mediator, and cannot advise or represent you. Though mediators are not, in general required to be licensed in New York State, Divorce Mediators who practice with The Peacemaker Program, Inc. are experienced professionals who are certified in accordance to the Unified Court System's standards. They follow a stringent Code of Ethics set forth by the Unified Court System.
Is Divorce and Separation Mediation a replacement for an attorney?
No; it is an alternative to, or an excellent supplement to, an attorney.¬† Divorce Mediators strongly recommend that parties consult knowledgeable experts whenever they need information.¬† Besides attorneys, this can include accountants, counselors, and clergy. While your Divorce Mediators can often offer legal and financial information, they CANNOT and will not offer legal, financial, or other advice.
How much does the service cost?
The couple first purchases a pair of Divorce Workbooks, for $25 each.
There is an hourly fee for the mediation sessions themselves, which is based on the couple's combined income.¬† This fee ranges from $20 to $175 per hour.¬† The average number of hours needed to create an agreement is 6-7, though your mediators will work with you as long as it continues to be productive.¬† Some couples move more quickly, and others need more time to address what is important to them.
The Divorce Mediators can also prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)¬†for a flat fee of $125.
What is the Divorce Workbook, and why do I need it?
The Divorce Workbook acts as a guide for separating couples to make the mediation process much smoother. It has been developed by experts in the field and contains worksheets, forms, and other information on issues that a couple will need to address. Each participant has their own workbook, which they fill out independently and then compare to the other person's during the mediation session to help highlight areas of agreement and disagreement.
How long are the sessions, and how many will I need?
Sessions are scheduled in two-hour blocks. Couples range from two sessions to several, depending on the complexity of their issues and the level of detail they wish to address. To help reduce costs and make the best use of the couple's time, the Divorce Mediators will often assign "homework" between sessions, so parties can create suggestions and gather information for the next meeting.
What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?
The MOU is a document that can be prepared by your Divorce Mediators at the end of the process.¬† The MOU summarizes the decisions you have made, and can be used either to file your divorce yourself, or as a guide for an attorney to prepare your divorce paperwork.¬† The MOU is NOT a legal document, and has no force of law until it is filed with, and approved by, the Supreme Court.
What do I do with the MOU and other agreements once I have them?
Once you have received your completed agreements from The Peacemaker Program Inc. (MOU, Child visitation, child support) you will go to the supreme court in your county and ask at the information desk where or how to file for a divorce. You can also look on line at¬†http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/forms.shtml.
What topics are covered in divorce mediation?
Parenting plans (custody/visitation), income, assets and liabilities recording, spousal maintenance, child support, division of personal property, taxes, and¬†legal processing are some of the topics covered.¬† In short, everything the law requires be addressed in a divorce or separation.¬† Couples can also include other topics of importance to them.