Need a Divorce Mediation Lawyer in New Jersey?

Our family law attorneys can help you navigate the divorce mediation process.

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Divorce Mediation Lawyer in New Jersey

A married  couple with a divorce lawyer.

Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that provides an opportunity for the spouses to work together to address major issues in their divorce. 

Divorce mediation is conducted with the help of a neutral third party known as a divorce mediation lawyer. The divorce mediation lawyer is not authorized to make decisions for the parties. Rather, they help guide the parties through the mediation process in a constructive manner.

Divorce can be daunting and emotionally trying. Mediation can prevent or alleviate the hostilities of settling difficult and sensitive divorce issues. While divorce mediation may not work in every instance, mediation is generally considered to be less contentious and more cooperative than the standard divorce process when it comes to resolving disputes. It is also less time consuming and less expensive. 

The overarching objective of divorce mediation is for the parties to arrive at an amicable, legally binding agreement that allows them to finalize their divorce so they can move on with their lives. An experienced family law attorney at Rosenblum Law can mediate a divorce, make the process as smooth as possible, and ensure that both parties’ voices are heard.

When Can Mediation Be Used

Mediation can be used at any point in the divorce process

  • Before spouses file for divorce: before filing for an uncontested divorce, or a divorce where both parties agree on the terms of the divorce, a mediator can help both parties work out all the details of the terms of the divorce. This will make the actual divorce process smoother. 
  • During the divorce: if issues arise during the divorce that both parties cannot agree on, mediation can help settle these issues.
  • After a final divorce: if disputes arrive after a divorce settlement and a party seeks a modification, such as proposing to change child support or alimony, mediation can help. Using mediation can help parties discuss the terms of modification to avoid fights in court.

Understanding Divorce Mediation in New Jersey

Spouses can voluntarily ask for mediation at any time, but mediation can also be ordered by the court. Under New Jersey law, divorcing couples with specific disagreements over financial matters or child custody issues may be required to engage in mediation before having their differences addressed by a judge. 

For example, in situations where parties disagree on child custody or child support, a NJ court may order the parties to engage in custody mediation to try and resolve these issues.

During a mediation, both parties will be given the opportunity to express their concerns and interests. The mediator will be there to help facilitate a productive discussion and aid the parties in finding common ground.

Early Settlement Programu

The Early Settlement Program (ESP) is another form of mediation utilized by New Jersey courts. Judges in New Jersey routinely refer divorcing couples to the ESP mediation after reviewing initial case pleadings and submissions. If a couple is referred, their attendance is mandatory. Failure to show up to an ESP could result in the dismissal of the case or the party who didn’t show up having to pay for the other’s legal fees.

While ESP mediation is used to help to divorce couples reach an agreement without going to trial, it is different from the most common form of divorce mediation. During ESP mediation, the parties go before a panel of family law attorneys and state their issues.

The panel recommends a settlement after hearing arguments from both sides. The settlement recommendations made by the ESP panel may be accepted or rejected by the parties. 

Program for Mediation of Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases

There is also the Program for Mediation of Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases (Economic Mediation Program).  This is another unique mediation program that is structured differently from a typical divorce mediation program. 

Judges in New Jersey will refer a divorcing couple to the Economic Mediation Program  if they are unable to resolve differences associated with economic issues that arose during an ESP mediation. The Economic Mediation Program attempts to resolve identified financial issues with the goal of getting the parties to agree to equitable distribution of marital assets.

The Mediation Process: Step by Step

The steps involved in a divorce mediation typically include the following.


Preparing for the mediation is the crucial first step. By adequately preparing, the parties can increase the likelihood of reaching a fair and mutually satisfactory agreement.

Before the session, the parties should gather all relevant documents and information related to the divorce, including financial records, property documents, and any other important evidence. This will allow the parties and the mediator to clearly understand the assets and liabilities involved.

It is also important to clarify the parties’ goals and desired outcomes for the mediation process. Among other things, each party should consider:

  • Their priorities 
  • Their non-negotiable outcomes 
  • Any particularly contentious issues

Identifying these beforehand will allow the parties to effectively communicate their needs during the session.

Initial Consultation With a Divorce Mediation Lawyer

The mediation process typically commences by scheduling a consultation with a divorce mediation attorney. During the consultation, the mediation attorney will explain their role and the mediation process. The mediator also will seek to better understand the unique circumstances, concerns, and desired outcomes for each party.

Opening Statements

Each party will be allowed to make an opening statement. During their opening statements, the parties can identify specific concerns, highlight goals, and clarify their desired outcomes for the mediation process.  However, this is rarely done.

Identification of Key Issues

As mentioned, identifying key issues is a critical step in the divorce mediation process. In many divorce mediations, the most significant issues include child custody, child support, alimony, the distribution of both marital assets and debts. In addition, if there are children from the marriage, custody arrangements and potential child support must be discussed.


The divorce mediation lawyer should work to encourage open communication. They may also meet with each party individually throughout the session. These discussions can help the mediator understand each party’s perspective in more detail and provide more insight into what needs to be agreed upon.

Resolution and Agreement

If the parties communicate openly and collaborate to address significant issues with the help of the mediation lawyer, the end goal should be reaching a mutually agreeable resolution.

Finalizing the divorce through mediation

If a resolution is achieved and the parties reach an agreement, the New Jersey mediation attorney can help record the details in a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement outlines the terms of the divorce and is signed by all parties involved.

How an Attorney Can Assist in Divorce Mediation

Hiring a competent and qualified attorney will help facilitate a successful divorce mediation. A mediation attorney can:

  • Offer advice and guidance, particularly when it comes to addressing potentially thorny issues
  • Explain the parties’ legal rights and obligations, particularly in the context of complex issues such as child custody, spousal support, division of marital assets, etc.
  • Prepare, compile, and organize legal documents 
  • Ensure the settlement agreement complies with New Jersey law
  • Draft and review the final settlement agreement

Key Considerations and Tips for Successful Mediation

To make the most of the parties’ time, energy, and resources during the mediation process, here are some key tips and considerations:

  • Be open and ready to collaborate: Enter the divorce mediation with an open mind and seek to find an amicable resolution. 
  • Identify key priorities: Decide what the key priorities are so the mediation stays focused and each spouse’s needs are heard.  
  • Use a divorce mediation checklist: Create a checklist to keep track of the array of issues that can arise, such as custody, spousal support, and division of marital property.  
  • Separate emotions from divorce negotiations: Strive to keep calm and press forward to achieve the best possible outcome. 
  • Review and understand agreements: Each party should fully understand the settlement agreements and their conditions before signing. An attorney can help parties understand the agreement and provide legal advice.

Common Challenges in Divorce Mediation and How to Overcome Them

Divorce mediation is generally considered to be an effective form of alternative dispute resolution. Nevertheless, there are challenges and potential pitfalls that need to be considered. These can include:

  • A power disparity between the parties. It is not uncommon for one party to feel dominated or even intimidated by the other. The divorce mediator should see that both parties’ voices are heard and respected.
  • Feelings of anger, resentment, and fear. These emotions can adversely impact the parties’ ability to make rational decisions during the mediation. The divorce mediator should understand this if and when disagreements arise. 
  • Particular challenges associated with financial matters. It is quite common for parties to disagree over the amicable division of marital assets, whether alimony needs to be paid, or child support. The parties should gather all relevant financial documents to review with the divorce mediator, who should ensure that both parties are on board with a proposed resolution.

The Role of an Attorney Post-Mediation

If the parties are able to reach an agreement during the divorce mediation, it is essential to properly document and legalize the terms. This is another area in which a divorce mediation lawyer can play a significant role. 

The mediation lawyer should draft a comprehensive settlement agreement reflecting the decisions made during the mediation. This document should outline the following: 

It is crucial to review the settlement agreement thoroughly and ensure that it accurately reflects the parties’ intentions and desires. Once both parties are satisfied with the terms, the agreement must be signed and filed with a New Jersey court for final approval. Typically, this process involves filing the necessary paperwork and appearing before a judge. 

The court will then review the proposed agreement to ensure it is reasonable and complies with divorce laws in New Jersey. Once the court approves the settlement agreement, it will become legally binding. If a party disobeys the settlement agreement after it has been finalized, the other party may request another mediation meeting, or they may take legal action against their former spouse. 


When is divorce mediation an option in New Jersey?

The use of mediation is allowed at effectively any point in the process of ending a marriage, even after the divorce is final.

What is the divorce mediation process in New Jersey?

Generally, the mediation process begins with an introduction or opening by the neutral mediator. This introduction is intended to help provide an overview of what to expect. After the introduction, the mediator will work with both parties to try and frame key issues, identifying what each spouse wants to achieve. The mediator will then explore possible solutions to any disagreements and encourage the parties to collaborate. The goal is to ultimately reach an amicable agreement.

What is the cost of divorce mediation in New Jersey?

It depends. If a judge orders mandatory mediation, and the mediator is selected from the court’s roster or directory, then the first two hours of the mediator’s services are generally free. If the parties opt to use a private mediator, the hourly rate can range anywhere between $100 to $500 per hour. Some mediation services offer a flat fee for a certain number of sessions.

What happens if we cannot reach an agreement in mediation?

If an agreement cannot be reached via mediation, then the matter will need to proceed to litigation in court to resolve the remaining disputes.

Is divorce mediation confidential?

Generally yes. For example, the mediator is prohibited from disclosing anything said as part of the mediation. The mediator is also prohibited from sharing any documents provided during the mediation. Nevertheless, there are exceptions to be aware of, including:

If both spouses provided written consent to the disclosure of communications, then confidentiality does not apply.
If the mediator reasonably believes disclosing information is necessary to prevent someone from harm, or to prevent one of the parties from engaging in a crime that could result in death or bodily harm, then confidentiality does not apply.
Confidentiality does not extend to the written, signed form of an agreement reached between the spouses during mediation.

Is mediation required for domestic violence victims?

When there is a documented history of restraining orders and incidents of domestic violence, mediation is not required. Nevertheless, it remains an option, if you want to try and resolve outstanding disputes through the mediation process.

How long is a typical mediation meeting?

It depends on the complexity of the issues and cooperation between the parties. Nevertheless, as a general estimate, a typical mediation meeting usually runs anywhere between one and three hours.

Contact a Rosenblum Law Divorce Mediation Lawyer 

Are you ready to navigate your divorce with confidence and peace of mind? If so, hire an attorney from Rosenblum Law to represent you during the mediation process. Our experienced divorce mediation attorneys are here to guide you through every step of the mediation process, ensuring your rights are protected and your voice is heard. 

Let us help you reach a fair and amicable resolution. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

A married couple with a divorce lawyer.
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