If you and your spouse are able to discuss issues in a respectful manner, divorce mediation can be an effective way to work through some of the key aspects of your marriage. You will likely need to come up with solutions for financial matters, child custody and visitation (if you have children), and a separation agreement if you are getting a legal separation in New York.
In a typical divorce mediation session, each participant will get the opportunity to speak about his or her situation and what is important in their case. During this stage, the mediator may ask questions and summarize your responses to help you identify areas of common ground. In most cases, a divorce mediation lawyer will guide participants through the process of making mutually acceptable settlements.
As a general rule, your conversations with your mediator and your spouse are confidential. However, if you and your spouse decide to go to court to fight for your rights, your discussions with the mediator can be used as evidence in your court case.
In addition, your spouse must agree to mediate. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, engaging in deceitful behavior, or refusing to cooperate, the process may not be able to progress. You can also use your attorney to file a motion with the court to compel cooperation.