Three Rules to Follow When Hiring a Divorce Mediator

Divorce mediation is becoming increasingly popular not just in Middletown but across the state and country.  Still, it’s important to be informed so that you make the best possible decision in selecting a mediator for your case.  Follow these three tips to maximize your chances of success during divorce mediation.

Look for an expert in the field of divorce mediation.  Someone who has served as a mediator in numerous divorce cases will more likely be aware of the most common issues and how to help you navigate them.  Your divorce mediator should also be invested in helping you resolve the case outside of court in the most efficient and effective way.  To get your questions answered early, ask if the mediator is willing to work with you and your spouse during an initial divorce consultation so that you are both prepared for what to expect.

Second, look for an experienced problem solver.  There is no one pathway to successful divorce mediation in Middletown, so you need to find an individual who is capable of adapting and working through challenges without getting bogged down in them.  You may need to walk through various options before settling on a solution to a complex divorce situation, so selecting a mediator with the skills from the outset can significantly increase your chances of success.

Finally, seek a Middletown divorce mediator who is compassionate.  Even though there are important legal issues on the table during your mediation, this is also a highly personal and emotional process.  The mediator should be invested in the emotional and financial wellness of your family members.

Should I Represent Myself in a Family Law Matter?

It can seem very tempting to represent yourself when you’re headed to court for a family law issue, but you need to be aware of the risks of doing this.  While technically can represent yourself, it’s often in your best interest to retain a New York family lawyer.  More often than not, people who feel comfortable representing themselves are those who feel that they will have a relatively straightforward case in court.  What many find out is that the case can unfold and become more complex very quickly.

Laws relating to family issues in the state of New York can be very complicated.  It’s very frustrating to realize that you do not understand the nuances of the court system when you represent yourself.  Many individuals who choose to head into a family law conflict representing themselves get overwhelmed very quickly.  This is because the law is intended to be practiced by lawyers.  The best way to protect your rights and have someone advocating for you in court is to hire a New York family lawyer.  In any case, consulting directly with a lawyer can be a valuable exercise to get some grounding in the basic laws.

Many family law issues hit quite close to home, and therefore the outcome of such a case can have a significant impact on your life.  Don’t risk your outcome by making the mistake of assuming that you will be fine family and on your own.  Usually by the time you discover that you are no longer comfortable handling the issue alone, it is too late.  Instead, get help from the outset can feel confident that someone is advocating for you in court knowledgeably.

What Special Considerations Should Be Evaluated in Child Custody Mediation For Younger Children?

It can be a very emotional process to engage in New Rochelle mediation for child custody issues, but knowing what the unique needs of your children are can greatly increase the chances that your final agreement will be specifically aligned with your family’s situation.

For younger children, like those between birth and toddler ages, there are special considerations worth thinking about before you enter mediation.  Consistent schedules, for example, may benefit children in these age categories.  Bearing in mind that the guiding factor should be doing what’s best for your children, younger kids tend to adapt better when schedules are kept relatively consistent.

Imagine how much a change like a divorce is going to influence younger children.  Even if you have careful and highly-evaluated plans for what life will look like for younger children, there’s no doubt you’ll encounter some unexpected changes along the way.  This is most likely to happen when you put a parenting plan in place while the children are younger, expecting that it will continue to work throughout their childhood.  In mediation, talk about what the plan will be for addressing changes in living situations or the needs of the children.

Finally, it may be a good idea to include plans for handling emergency situations in your final agreement from mediation.  More often than not, each parent wants to be included in the notification process when a child is involved in an emergency.  Your agreement should include who will be called in these situations and when, and contact information should be shared regarding backup emergency contacts.

As with any child custody mediation, considering the best interests of the children and being open to communication are a key recipe for success in the future.

What Kind of Family Law Cases Can Be Mediated?

In the realm of Westchester family law, most people instantly think of divorce and child custody as the only kinds of issues that can be worked out through mediation.  The reality is that mediation is appropriate and successful in a wide range of family law issues.  When mediation is used instead of litigation, parties are more likely to work together and compromise while keeping their financial and time investment lower.

When looking into mediation to resolve your family dispute, selecting the mediator is a vital step.  You should confirm that the mediator is qualified to help address the issue at hand, so do your research in advance to determine his or her past experience as well as his or her comfort level in assisting you.      The mediator plays a crucial role helping you to communicate with the other party, so you need to be clear about how much the right mediator can assist your case.

In family law, conflicting parties might be more amenable to working together to resolve the dispute as opposed to escalating tensions and taking the concern into court.  Using mediation as a first stop in the effort to resolve something is a wise consideration that one or both parties may be exploring.  Select a qualified mediator to increase the chances of resolution success.

What If We Can’t Agree On All Issues in Divorce Mediation?

It’s very rare for a Middle town couple going through a divorce to agree on all but just a few issues, but even where this is the case you may benefit from going through the process of mediation.  There is a myth that divorce mediation only works for those with few issues to decide or marriage dissolutions that could be described as “simple”, but that’s not the case.

If you believe that a few issues will be contentious in mediation, consider reaching out to a network of professionals to help you work through these concerns.  It is not uncommon to engage appraisers, accountants, and financial planners during truly complex divorces.  Combined with the experience of a mediator, a team of professionals with expertise in the field can help you work out issues that you previously perceived to cause gridlock in communication.

If you have engaged with the mediator and other professionals and still find that one or two issues are outstanding in the divorce, you can put together an agreement addressing all the settled concerns.      From there, you can attempt to litigate the remaining issues or you can take some space to think about your options and consider whether returning to mediation down the road might make more sense.

A qualified mediator in Middletown is an essential instrument in your divorce because he or she will know how to navigate through difficult situations and help you and your spouse find opportunities to compromise.  While it’s not guaranteed that you will solve everything related to the divorce in mediation, it’s well worth the effort to try things outside of court first.  You may find that you can work through divorce-related questions more quickly and less expensively than if you pursued litigation.

Key Elements of a Successful Prenuptial Agreement

More New York couples are seeing the benefits of prenuptial agreements these days, but these documents are only as powerful as what you put in them.  When done properly, a prenuptial agreement can help prepare you for the future and outline concerns that are most important for you and your life together.

Under the guidance of a Scarsdale family law attorney, your prenuptial agreement can address almost anything.  Some of the most common issues that appear in prenuptial agreements include the waiving of alimony or other support or specific requests which deal with the default rule in community property.

Agreements can be especially beneficial when you and your future spouse are linked to any of the following factors:

  • Owning part of all of a business
  • Expect to receive an inheritance in the future
  • One or both partners have assets already like retirement funds or a home
  • There are children from a previous marriage
  • One partner expects to support the other through an educational endeavor
  • One of you has significantly more assets than the other

In order to accomplish the drafting of such document, you’ll need to carefully consider all of the factors listed above and consult with a New York family law attorney.  Depending on your needs, you may need to add wording and guidelines that specifically addresses your situation.

Although it’s not easy to have a conversation about the importance of prenuptial agreements, it can be a valuable one that helps you and your spouse discuss critical financial issues and long-term plans.

Putting together a prenuptial agreement can be very prudent planning, even if it’s difficult to bring up the subject with your future spouse.   Gaining more awareness about family and financial concerns can be a very valuable exercise for you.

How Can Child Custody and Support Mediation Benefit the Kids?

There are numerous benefits to opting for divorce mediation for couples, but choosing to go this route can also be advantageous for children.  Working with a neutral New City child custody and support mediator can set the tone for the future of your relationship while minimizing the impact for children.

The first reason that child custody and support mediation is beneficial is because the process is non-adversarial.  Even the most emotionally controlled individuals can find it challenging to keep the emotional trauma of litigation and coming home.  Children are very sensitive to the moods and emotions of their parents, so any opportunity you can take to minimize disagreements and fighting with your former spouse is good.

Conflict is extremely common in a contested divorce, even when you have the best of intentions of keeping it positive or shielding children from disagreements.  Inevitably, children may find themselves caught in the middle when you choose litigation as opposed to working with a New City child custody and support mediator.

The mediation process does not focus on blame, although the adversarial nature of litigation can pit one parent against another.  A trained mediator helps to remove blame from the topics of conversation and instead focus on collaborating to generate a parenting plan that is focused on the needs of the children.  As a parent, you are likely to experience less stress going through mediation, allowing you to focus on doing your job as a parent and helping your child adjust to the many changes that are happening in their lives.

Choosing to work through divorce issues in mediation is extremely beneficial for your own purposes, but it can also allow children to sort through emotional divorce-related issues on their own without added pressure.

Is Family Law Mediation Better Than Working With a Lawyer?

Most people are aware of the opportunity to contact a lawyer to sort through family disputes that have gotten out of control, but there are other options too.  You don’t always have to turn directly to litigation when there is some kind of family law dispute like concerns over separation, divorce, or child custody.  In fact, you may be able to resolve your issues more expediently using mediation.

Mediation takes the conflict out of the court and allows you to work with an experienced Rochester family law mediator.  In this process, the mediator is a neutral individual appointed to help address critical issues.  Since you don’t have to rely on busy court schedules to address family law issues, mediation can usually address your concerns very quickly and in several meetings.  One of the most positive outcomes of opting to go this route is that you save both time and money.  Furthermore, you can benefit from reduced emotional trauma from having to go through the litigation process.  Mediation is far less adversarial than litigation and can actually help to improve communication skills or repair relationships.

Some couples go through the mediation process but also choose to hire an attorney to represent their interests.  This works in situations where you don’t feel comfortable directly negotiating with the other party or where the other spouse does not want to mediate.  You can still allow for a swift evaluation of critical family law issues without the headaches of litigation.

Mediation also tends to result in resolution that is more likely to be mutually agreeable between disputing parties.  Having some power, flexibility, and comfort with mediation are just a few of the reasons that family law disputes are being assisted by Rochester family law mediators

How Does a Judge Determine Custody?

Even if you have already retained a family lawyer in Westchester County to help handle your child custody case, you should be aware of the process by which judges make custody determinations.  The outcome of your child custody case can have major ramifications on the time you spend with your children as well as your life after divorce, so you should consult directly with an experienced attorney about the possible scenarios that could work for you.

In New York, judges determine both residential and legal custody issuesResidential custody refers to the actual location where the child lives, while legal custody specifies which parent or parents are able to make important decisions regarding the children.  One parent may be awarded primary residential and legal custody, but it’s also possible that a judge will determine joint legal custody is the best solution for your family.  This refers to situations when both parents have some form of legal custody over the child.

Judges make decisions about child custody in Westchester County New York by using the best interests of the child standard.  They may take into account the child’s preference, any histories of child abuse or neglect, the age of the parents, the financial situation of the parents, drug and alcohol usage by the parents, and any physical or mental health issues that could impact a parent’s ability to care for a child or children.

Custody battles can escalate quickly, which is why you need to be prepared with any documentation addressing the above issues for yourself or the other parent.  You may even need to have character witnesses speak on your behalf to testify about your parenting abilities and skills.  Your family law attorney will be able to provide you with more insight about what’s needed in your case.

Do Grandparents Have Custody Rights in New York?

In the state of New York, grandparents may have limited rights to visit their grandchildren.  This is because the law states that parents have the fundamental and primary right to raise their children how they see fit.  As a result, grandparents will only be granted specific visitation rights if the New York courts believe that doing so is in the best interests of the child.

There are many factors that could be evaluated by a New York court when it comes to determining grandparent visitation rights, but there is a two part test employed to decide whether this is the most appropriate solution.  First, the court has to feel that visitation rights for the grandparents is in the best interests of the child.  Second, it has to be clear that there is already a functioning and established relationship between the child and the grandparents.

When it comes to determining the best interests of the child in a New York grandparent visitation case, the court might evaluate the wishes of the child, the morality of the parents, the past behavior of one or both parents, education opportunities, how the home environment influences the child or children, and the physical or emotional needs of the child.

Visitation rights cases for New York grandparents can be difficult because compared to other states, New York is relatively restrictive.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a possible case, however.  If you believe that you should fight for visitation rights of your grandchildren, you need to consult with an experienced New York family law attorney to learn more about how to initiate this kind of case.  Since the law is complex, it’s essential to hire a talented attorney as soon as possible for your case.