Marital Mediation is for couples who wish to avoid divorce, or who wish to use the mediation process to find solutions to a range of issues. Issues for discussion could include money matters, infidelity, children, communication, etc. It is sometimes referred to as Mediation to stay married. Martin Rosenfeld is listed as one of the marital mediators at www.maritalmediation.com. That website has an excellent FAQ section on the positive aspects of Marital Mediation.
I have a website that deals primarily with divore mediation at www.NJMediationWorks.com. In a nutshell, divorce mediation is a voluntary process by which a neutral party, or mediator, tries to help the parties reach an agreement on the terms of their divorce. Attorneys are not needed for the sessions, and it works best for parties who wish to control the outcome of their divorce process. The chance to be heard in a non-threatening environment is what makes the process work. Divorce Mediation has been estimated to cost approximately 25% of what a litigated divorce will cost. The parties usually share the cost of the mediation.
Not quite. Collaborative lawyers (not mediators) are not neutrals. They work with their respective clients to obtain a productive settlement. The attorneys in this process sign an agreement that if agreement cannot be reached through the collaborative process they will be unable to represent their clients in Court. The agreement, and process, hopefully assures that there will be a peaceful solution. The collaborative "team" may include therapists, financial advisors, consultants, etc.
It has been estimated that Mediated Divorces will cost between $4000-$6000, Collaborative Divorce may cost up to $10,000 per spouse, and Litigated Divorces may cost up to $30,000 OR MORE. (Of course, the mental health cost of contested/litigated divorces cannot be quantified.)
For many, cost of the process is a big factor. If ultimate privacy is highly desired, Divorce Mediation is the safest bet. If having an attorney there at all times, Collaborative Divorce might be your choice. It is wise to interview a few professionals to ensure that you have a level of comfort with your choice.
I thought you would never ask! I have a background in law, education and mediation. I have also been a clergyman for many years. My philosophy is simply stated below: "Mediate Don't Litigate". It is rare to have either party pleased with the outcome of litigated divorces. The toll on the parties, and their family, is immense. If divorce is imminent, why not choose to civilly close the door on the relationship, rather than slam that door shut. The greatest gift you can give your children is to seek an amicable divorce. Studies have shown that the children who suffer least from divorce of parents are those whose parents had a peaceful dissolution.