Divorce Mediation & Collaborative Divorce Process & Litigation – Choose Carefully
Ask someone to describe their divorce and you will hear: awful, painful, expensive, too long, embarrassing and many more of the same negative terms. While never easy, divorce can be better depending on the process you choose. There is an old expression. If you look at every problem as if it were a nail, you only need a hammer. In reality, no two families are alike and each need a process suited for them. Sadly some couples will need to litigate for a number of reasons such as domestic violence, failure to disclose pertinent information or serious parenting issues. The greater majority, however, do not and if they choose litigation, they may still never receive a decision by a judge. There is one certainty in litigation. It is very expensive and its effects will be felt for a long time after the divorce. You can utilize a Process Consultation to evaluate the different options, learn how divorce law in Monmouth County or Ocean County impacts your situation and what costs you can expect. The Process Consultation can be an opportunity to gain information to make good decisions and assess the plan you wish to adopt.
Monmouth County divorce lawyer, Anna-Maria Pittella can discuss and guide you in a discussion on mediation or collaborative divorce to help you avoid the confusion and unnecessary pain often heightened by divorce through litigation. An Accredited Professional Mediator of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators and a trained collaborative practitioner of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Anna-Maria Pittella encourage mediation and collaborative family law rather than litigation for most divorce cases.
Monmouth County Divorce Attorney Fees and a Solution
Ms. Pittella says, “Particularly in the family area, people are anguished by the emotional and financial drain they face when they are locked in a court action. Couples complain that divorce takes too long or costs too much. Many don’t have the resources to wage a court battle. More and more they are looking for better options than preparing for a trial, particularly a trial that may never happen. They also generally want to avoid the risk of uncertainty of a judge’s ruling and have some control of the outcome. There are two ways that couples can control costs and effectively map the future for themselves and their children: mediation and collaboration.”
Divorce Mediation: Both Sides are Satisfied
Mediation is an option for the divorce process that avoids litigation and allows the parties to retain control. The mediation process ends when both sides are satisfied. As a mediator for divorcing or separating couples, Anna-Maria Pittella facilitates the discussions, remains impartial, and helps both parties discuss options to reach a decision. Parties generally share the hourly fee in some fashion which is far less than the fees of two attorneys. More importantly the parties have an opportunity to seek independent counsel to review their tentative agreement before anything is signed. The attorneys or other professionals such as accountant, pension, or business evaluators are used on an “as needed” basis during mediation. This makes mediation much less expensive than litigation.
Ms. Pittella explains: “Accountants may be called upon to give advice on a financial or tax-related issue or the value of a business. We can use the same types of professionals we would use during a litigated divorce proceeding but since they are only used when they are needed, the cost is much less. We agree upon neutral experts so we don’t have hired guns and dueling reports. Income and assets are documented and all issues are discussed. Mediation does not narrow the scope of our discussions, only the methods we employ.”
For more information about mediation and how mediation saves time and money, call Monmouth County divorce mediation attorney, Anna-Maria Pittella.
Collaborative Divorce : Using professionals for advocacy, support and information
Collaborative family law, collaborative process, and collaborative divorce are terms often used interchangeably, according to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. The organization’s website says, “Collaborative practice promotes respect, places the needs of children first and keeps control of the process with the spouses.” Ms. Pittella says, “Collaborative divorce provides a method for a cooperative transition where the couple receives assistance in delineating and meeting their needs for the future. Collaboration is especially effective when children are involved. The couple hires attorneys who advocate for the client but who are also committed to reaching a settlement. The written pledge of the couple is to use their attorneys solely to reach an agreement, NOT to go to court. The goal is to negotiate — and continue to negotiate — until the parties reach an agreement. The attorneys are skilled in offering options and securing resources to meet the couple’s interests and needs. If a couple needs additional support and information other collaboratively trained professionals step in to assist with specific issues such as parenting, spending plans, sale or mortgaging of real estate or other property distribution. The couple can select from a complement of supportive services to assist them in making the right plan for themselves and their family.”