There was a time decades ago when those who wanted a divorce would have to convince a judge that their circumstances met strict state laws for marital dissolution. People would need proof of spousal abuse or adultery to end their marriage and sometimes found themselves denied the right to leave an unhappy marriage.
Thankfully, that has changed, and New Jersey now allows no-fault divorces which are generally faster and less complicated. Despite no longer needing to prove anything to qualify for a divorce, those seeking no-fault divorces often end up in court. Spouses may fight aggressively over custody, support and property division matters.
Married couples considering divorce in New Jersey now often attempt mediation before going to court. Why has mediation become such a popular alternative to divorce litigation?
- Mediation is a private process
If you go to family court and accuse your spouse of infidelity, everything you say about their behavior and every excuse they make to blame you for their actions will end up as part of the public record.
Anyone could potentially attend your hearings and hear what the two of you have to say about one another. Years later, those records will still exist as court transcripts, meaning your adult children could even potentially obtain them.
New Jersey law makes mediation confidential in almost all cases, meaning that you can talk about spousal misconduct and other private matters without making those details publicly available.
- Mediation speeds up divorce
Litigation can take a long time to complete. There are currently more families demanding access to the family courts than judges available to provide services. You will find yourself waiting for many months to have a hearing in front of a judge and a long time after a hearing for the final ruling in many cases.
When you work out your disagreements in divorce mediation, you will be able to speed up the process by eliminating the need to wait for hearings. You will also know the outcome of the divorce long before the judge ever finalizes your paperwork.
- You can repair your relationship
Mediation requires cooperation between former spouses. You will need to be able to sympathize with your spouse to negotiate with them effectively. You will also need to change out the aggressive communication pattern you have recently employed for one that focuses on cooperation and resolution, rather than emotional venting and blame. This benefit is particularly useful for those who will continue to parent with one another.
Couples that attempt divorce mediation frequently end their marriages more quickly and with less conflict than those who pursue a more traditional, litigated process. Considering all of your options for filing an uncontested divorce will help you make use of the right tools for your situation.