Mandatory Divorce Mediation: Smart or Misguided?

Mediation in the Divorce Context Remains Controversial on Both Sides of the Atlantic Ocean

Conference TableDivorce mediation isn’t for everyone but an increasing number of divorcing New Jerseyans are experimenting with this option in order to try to save time and money.

Nevertheless, the process of divorce mediation (and the decision of whether to accept a settlement and waive a trial, for that matter) remains an option for divorcing couples. New Jersey litigants are obligated to participate in a Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel (MESP), but the recommendations of the panelists are non-binding as we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. One country may soon take a step further than its former Mid-Atlantic colony.

Prospective divorcees in the United Kingdom may soon have no choice but to explore the mediation process:

“…[u]nder a protocol agreed between the ministry of justice and the judiciary, divorcing couples will now be required to undergo a compulsory “mediation awareness session”, familiarising them with the mediation process and encouraging them to use it as an alternative to going to court.

Under the new rules, the spouse who initiates the case will first go to a professional mediator, who will be required to engage the other party and arrange the session – either together or individually. If the couple insist on litigating, they will be required to present evidence of their mediation session before their case is accepted by the court.”

Many U.S. states are also experimenting with mandatory medication including Utah and Florida. Thus far, proposals to make mediation a mandatory step in the divorce process haven’t taken hold in the Garden State.

If you or a loved one has questions regarding divorce, MESP, Divorce settlement, or any other family law-related matter, contact the New Jersey Divorce attorneys at DeMichele and DeMichele. For a confidential consultation to discuss your situation, contact us online by clicking here or call us at (856) 546-1350.