Going through the process of divorce can be quite costly, not only on your financial resources, but also on your time and emotions. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on various factors of the divorce, then the judge will decide for you. For these reasons, a good alternative for court is mediation.

What is Mediation?
Mediation is the process in which a neutral third-party helps to assist in the resolution process between parties. The idea of mediation is to avoid a contentious divorce situation, instead focusing on how to come to an agreement where each party is content. Mediation allows for the parties to maintain control of their lives and their decisions, something that would otherwise be given up to the courts and judges.

The steps of the mediation process are:

Inquiry: This means one party makes a call to a mediator, during which the mediator attempts to discover how the person received their name, the names of both parties involved, whether there are any issues that could prevent the couple from engaging in mediation, length of the marriage, number of children, and where in the process the parties are.

The First Session: This serves as an introduction and overview of the process, which includes fees, the number of sessions, the mediator’s role, objectives, issues to be addressed, and a list of documents for each party to bring to the next session. Such documents include:

Defined Benefit Pension Valuation
Business Valuation
Pay stubs
All bank, brokerage, and 401(k)/403(b) statements
W-2s
Most recent federal tax return
Summary of insurance policies and coverage
List of household items to be divided
A credit report
Property values
The children’s school schedules, including holidays and days off
The Second Session: Focuses on the parenting plan and data collection, including:

Signing the agreement
Meeting between each party and the mediator
Developing a parenting plan
Providing budget worksheets
Collecting documentation requested in previous meetings
The Third Session: Focuses on data analysis for child support, as well as the distribution of assets and liabilities, including:

Reviewing child support and other child-related financial issues
Reviewing information on the assets and liabilities, and deciding how they will be divided
Collecting information regarding budgeting
The Fourth Session: Focuses on budgets and spousal support. This includes:

Current and Forecasted budgets
Spousal support if it is needed
Other issues, such as religious issues, income taxes, name changes, and social security
The Fifth/Last Session: Focuses on reviewing and revising the Memorandum of Understanding, which includes everything that was discussed and agreed upon during mediation.

View Attorney Profile

Philip Smith Burnham II

Licensed since 1990

Member at firm Burnham Law Group, LLC

RECENT POSTS

  • New Jersey Wage Theft Law Passes
    Posted on October 18, 2019
    Topic: Labor and Employment Wage and Hour Law

    There is a new law in New Jersey that aims to prevent wage theft. The law, passed by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, holds employers accountable for unjust employee wages. Representatives hope that the law, referred to as the Wage Theft Act, inspires other states in the U.S. to follow suit. The Wage Theft Act is ... Read more

  • Keeping the Happy in Halloween for the Children
    Posted on October 18, 2019
    Topic: Child Custody Divorce Family Law Visitation Rights

    Holidays are among the minefields that divorcing parents negotiate. Halloween, perhaps more than some other major holidays, is one that is and should be all about the children. Trick or treating, candy, and the anticipation of choosing a costume make it an exciting milestone for school-aged children. In many communities across the United States, it ... Read more

  • Can I Use the Same Divorce Attorney as My Spouse?
    Posted on October 11, 2019
    Topic: Divorce Family Law Premarital Agreements Spousal Support

    Going through a divorce can be a devastating and confusing experience. Just because your spouse hired a lawyer does not mean that you need to hire one. There are many people who choose to represent themselves, while others wonder if they can utilize the services of their soon-to-be ex-spouse’s lawyer. A divorce lawyer cannot legally ... Read more

Philip Smith Burnham II

Licensed since 1990

Member at firm Burnham Law Group, LLC

RECENT POSTS

  • New Jersey Wage Theft Law Passes
    Posted on October 18, 2019
    Topic: Labor and Employment Wage and Hour Law

    There is a new law in New Jersey that aims to prevent wage theft. The law, passed by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, holds employers accountable for unjust employee wages. Representatives hope that the law, referred to as the Wage Theft Act, inspires other states in the U.S. to follow suit. The Wage Theft Act is ... Read more

  • Keeping the Happy in Halloween for the Children
    Posted on October 18, 2019
    Topic: Child Custody Divorce Family Law Visitation Rights

    Holidays are among the minefields that divorcing parents negotiate. Halloween, perhaps more than some other major holidays, is one that is and should be all about the children. Trick or treating, candy, and the anticipation of choosing a costume make it an exciting milestone for school-aged children. In many communities across the United States, it ... Read more

  • Can I Use the Same Divorce Attorney as My Spouse?
    Posted on October 11, 2019
    Topic: Divorce Family Law Premarital Agreements Spousal Support

    Going through a divorce can be a devastating and confusing experience. Just because your spouse hired a lawyer does not mean that you need to hire one. There are many people who choose to represent themselves, while others wonder if they can utilize the services of their soon-to-be ex-spouse’s lawyer. A divorce lawyer cannot legally ... Read more