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Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation in New York: What's Right for You?

Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation in New York: What's Right for You?

Divorce is never easy, especially when there are complex financial arrangements such as properties, investments, business ownerships, and trust funds involved. Divorce mediation often provides a less stressful process for many spouses who are parting ways, but it's not for everyone. The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco can help divorcing spouses pick the option that's best for them.

High net worth divorces have many of the issues that other divorces do-division of assets, child custody, child support and spousal maintenance. Things get tricky when it comes to equitably dividing assets, as issues such as investments, business ownership, hidden assets, and other issues may come into play.

Divorcing spouses dealing with these issues need attorneys with experience in evaluating complex financial arrangements, prenuptial agreements, global properties, future income estimates, and related issues.

The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco has aided many men and women dealing with high net worth divorces in New York to obtain favorable divorce settlements that account for their contributions to the marriage. Going through a divorce shouldn't mean losing the assets that are rightfully yours. Through litigation or mediation, Suffolk County divorce attorneys Robert H. Montefusco and Meaghan Howard can ensure that spouses get what they deserve.

Divorce Mediation Facts

In New York, divorce mediation is a voluntary process used to settle divorce cases. Couples with intertwined finances also often use it when they wish to separate. In mediation, a professional mediator will help couples reach agreements concerning equitable distribution of marital assets, child support, child custody, child visitation, and related issues.

Mediators are not always attorneys, but they should be knowledgeable in divorce and family law. Mediators are neutral parties who help guide divorcing spouses to an amicable resolution of property and other issues related to their split. In cases where complicated financial arrangements such as business ownership, investment assets, multiple property ownership, and so on, are an issue.

Mediation has a few advantages that spouses who can communicate and collaborate despite their differences may prefer. Because the process is less adversarial and depends on the spouses working together to reach an agreement, it can result in a better long-term relationship between the divorced spouses, which is helpful if they share children that they must co-parent.

That said, divorcing spouses who simply cannot work together should not hesitate to pursue litigation, as a failed mediation will cost more money and may have a worse outcome than litigation.

While it may have its merits, mediation has its drawbacks. Mediation can fail to uncover assets that a spouse may hide. It can also result in unenforceable agreements if mediation agreements are drafted poorly. Also, it can be a waste of money if negotiations break down and the spouses choose to pursue the matter in litigation.

If you do choose mediation, you'll still need to consult with an attorney during the mediation and before signing a final agreement. It's worth it to ensure you have an enforceable agreement that covers all the matters needed to be hashed out between the divorcing spouses. It also helps spouses ensure they're being fairly treated.

When Divorce Mediation Isn't Appropriate

Mediation, when it's appropriate, can be less expensive and quicker than litigating a divorce in court. For couples who are mostly in agreement about the division of assets and other issues, mediation might be the correct route rather than trying the case in court.

Divorce mediation isn't for everyone. In divorce cases where domestic violence is alleged, mediation is likely not in the best interests of the spouses or their children. Also, for couples who wish to limit their communication, mediation is also a poor option, as mediation relies on divorcing spouses being able to communicate and collaborate to some degree. Mediation can make matters worse, in these cases, and handling the matter through litigation is often the preferred option.

Another circumstance where mediation won't be helpful is when spouses are trying to conceal assets. When a spouse is being deceitful about assets, the other spouse needs the help that an attorney can provide in litigation.

How Is Litigation Different from Mediation?

Litigated divorces are usually more adversarial than divorce mediation. Instead of working with a mediator to come to an agreement, each spouse works with his or her attorney to put forward a case. Most litigated divorces end in settlements between the two parties that are negotiated by the attorneys but, in cases where the spouses simply can't come to an agreement, a judge will make the final decision regarding spousal support, child visitation and custody, the division of marital assets, and related issues. In some cases, having a judge decide is the best option, as the judge can weigh matters in a fair and impartial manner.

In cases where a parent may be unfit, where a history of violence is present, or where a spouse is concealing financial information or using bullying tactics to pressure the other spouse into an unfavorable arrangement, litigation is the best choice.

An experienced divorce lawyers in Suffolk County and throughout New York will be able to ferret out any assets a spouse may be hiding or undervaluing.

Litigation requires an attorneys' time researching information regarding the case, preparing and filing motions, and time in court.

One bright spot in New York divorce law is the no-fault divorce law passed by New York's legislature in 2010. No-fault divorces allow spouses to divorce without establishing which spouse was at fault, eliminating time-consuming, expensive, and acrimonious fighting in court. New York was the last state in the U.S to allow no-fault divorces.

Mediation, while it is the correct route for some couples in limited circumstances, litigation is often the best option for couples who have complex arrangements to be made.

Divorce Rates in New York

If you're facing a divorce and need to know your options concerning mediation or litigation, it pays to find an attorney who is experienced in working with clients like you, and who understands the needs of clients with substantial assets. Finding an attorney with experience in handling complex, high-net worth divorces is the smart move.

The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C. provides legal representation and has extensive experience in helping clients with high net worth divorces in New York. Attorney Robert H. Montefusco and his staff have helped affluent clients successfully untangle financial arrangements from their spouses in a favorable manner. For clients seeking a fair resolution to their marriage that preserves their hard-earned assets, The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco can help. Contact us today for a free consultation and analysis of your prospects in a divorce.

Source

  1. https://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2014/02/13/comparing-divorce-rates-across-ny.html

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