Generally speaking, family mediation involves the use of a neutral, trained individual to promote useful discussion and help families find realistic solutions that work for their particular situations. This process is used in a wide variety of family law cases, including divorces, cohabitation agreements and issues relating to children.

Whether you are separating from your spouse, considering a partnership or marriage, or dealing with a child custody issue, a knowledgeable New York family mediator can make all the difference. Family mediation allows parties to discuss and explore their options while avoiding the emotional stress and financial costs of going to court.

It is important to remember that, although mediation can help you come up with a solution, it does not guarantee a resolution. If you are unable to reach an agreement, you may need to take your case to trial or seek a Judge’s intervention. It is also helpful to know that the Judges assigned to Family Court cases are not required to mediate. You will have to file a Motion for Referral to Mediation to be assigned to a Judge who will schedule your mediation session.

In addition to helping parties resolve disputes, family mediators can teach people how to communicate with one another and work through conflict in the future. Many of the people who attend family mediation sessions are in the midst of divorce proceedings and need to develop parenting plans for any children they have together. They may also need to discuss financial issues such as alimony, child support or property division. Other people who are referred to family mediation include parents who are considering separation or divorce and need to create cohabitation agreements that address living arrangements, finances and property division.

As a legal alternative to litigation, family mediation services are provided for free in New York City. The city has one Mediation Center in each of its boroughs. The program is operated by the courts and staffed by certified mediators, who are lawyers or mental health professionals.

The mediators can assist people with a wide range of family law concerns, including child custody and visitation, spousal support, equitable distribution of marital assets, and health insurance and educational cost reimbursement arrangements for children. The program is available for all parties in a divorce proceeding, and non-married couples who need to agree on issues related to living together or a separation agreement. It is also available for parents seeking to modify custody or visitation arrangements after a divorce has been granted and even after a final judgment is entered in the case. In some instances, family mediators can even handle elder disputes. The goal of these services is to keep families out of the court system where disputes over the care of a parent can become heated and acrimonious, particularly this year with the ongoing pandemic. It is hoped that family mediation can also help reduce the number of elder abuse cases. family mediation services

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