Creative divorce solutions that protect your interests

The rate of divorce has almost doubled in the past 40 years. And as more and more couples face the emotional and financial costs of a litigated divorce, many look for alternatives.

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), serving as an option to litigation. Mediation uses a neutral third party to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. At the conclusion of mediation, the mediator drafts a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Thereafter, one of the parties' lawyers will draft a final Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) which will be incorporated into a Final Judgment of Divorce. Our family law attorneys help clients during the mediation process by providing advocacy and legal advice and also help clients finalize their Memorandum of Understanding into a Marital Settlement Agreement.

In an uncontested divorce, New Jersey couples often agree on most of the terms, but need assistance in resolving the remaining disputes. At The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C., in Morristown, divorce mediator Jane Ellen Doran helps couples find common ground through alternative dispute resolution methods whenever possible. By remaining neutral and encouraging you and your spouse to communicate in a safe environment, we help you find options that are fair and reasonable — and emotionally and financially less costly than litigation.

The New Jersey divorce mediation process lets couples control the outcome

We realize that even when a couple agrees that divorce is the right option, there's bound to be some hurt and disappointment. One advantage of the mediation process is that, unlike the adversarial divorce by trial, couples work together to reach an agreement that is right for them — and especially for the children.

A mediated divorce agreement is:

  • Private — Your issues will not be paraded in front of a court, but will be kept between you, your spouse and the mediator.
  • Expedient — While a litigated divorce can take a year or more to resolve, a divorce through alternative dispute resolution methods is usually reached in a much shorter time.
  • Less expensive — There is no question that you will save money by mediating rather than litigating.
  • Less traumatic — Rather than placing blame and rehashing the past, mediation focuses on moving forward and finding mutually acceptable solutions regarding property distribution, parenting issues and spousal support.

Most important, mediation and similar alternative dispute resolution methods empower couples to make decisions about how they want to live their lives, what is best for their children and what is fair for everyone involved. In many cases, mediation allows the parties to maintain a relationship that may no longer be marital, but is not destructive. And because the spouses themselves made the decisions, their agreements have a better chance of succeeding.

Find out if a mediated divorce is right for you

As New Jersey mediators, we find solutions that help heal rather than inflame the pain of divorce. To learn more about mediation and collaborative law, contact us online or call us at 973-532-2661.