Below you will find the answers to our most commonly asked questions. After reading this information, should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail us or call us at 718.448.1600.
Why Choose Staten Island Divorce and Mediation Center ?
Our mediators are the highest trained professionals, you will not only meet with a lawyer, but we have Certified financial Planners with specific training in Divorce on hand to help you with your finances, property and 401K’s and pension funds. We have social workers and psychologists on hand ready to help answer any of your questions. We offer FULL SERVICE DIVORCE UNDER ONE ROOF.
We will accommodate your schedule; many of our clients need to meet in the evening, weekends, sometimes even early in the morning.
You will work with professionals trained in their area of practice, as well as possessing extensive training in mediation and collaborative law- many lawyers and social workers will claim to be “ mediators” or “collaborative lawyers” without having the proper training, thereby lacking the skills to help you in your “ no court” divorce.
Our Mediators and Collaborative Lawyers are committed to helping you end one family but begin another- we take great aim at sheltering your children from the potentially damaging effects of your divorce.
You will have the unique opportunity to be able to mediate issues that arise after divorce: Changes in visitation and custody that are often a necessary part of children’s lives can be decided in mediation, or even unforeseen circumstances such as the relocation of one of the parents can be decided between the parents and mediator even after the divorce is final.
How long does divorce mediation take?
The length of time a couple mediates their divorce is contingent upon the issues. Obviously a couple in a short term marriage, without any children or significant assets will generally reach an agreeable dissolution in less time than it will take for a couple that has been married for several years, and has children and significant assets that need to be discussed including parenting plans, custody, visitation and a division of property. . In the end, ALL decisions are yours to make. Most couples are able to complete the process in 6-12 sessions.
How often do we meet with a mediator?
Most couples will meet with the same mediator once a week for 1 to 1/1/2 hours. Some couples meet every other week depending on their schedules if the couple wants to meet with one of our other professional mediators specializing in the areas of finance or social work that too can be arranged and generally will take the place of one of these sessions.
Will I have a legally binding agreement?
Yes. Agreements are binding upon people because they sign them, and because they are executed in the manner directed by the law. At the end of the process you will decide if you want to file a Separation Agreement with the court, this agreement is legally binding upon all parties and when the requirements for divorce are met will e the basis upon which a Decree of Divorce is granted.
What are the costs?
We offer our services on a sliding scale basis, since we believe everyone is entitled to the benefit of mediating their disputes we try to make it affordable for all. Most mediations can be resolved in 4 to 10 sessions depending on the family’s individual dynamics and property and parenting issues. Following the mediation we will draft all necessary legal documents including the separation agreement, QDRO and even retirement documents that have become a part of this particular settlement, and file the necessary paperwork with the court for an additional fee.
Divorce Mediation Costs:
I charge an hourly rate for my time, both in and out of mediation sessions. The length of time you have been married, whether you and your spouse have accumulated a lot of property, whether or not you have children, where you are emotionally, in the separation process, and how much work you and your spouse are interested in doing yourselves, will all factor into how many mediation sessions it will take to resolve your separation and divorce. Mediation sessions usually last 1 ½-2 hours and are scheduled at the couple’s convenience.
After you have made all of the decisions that are pertinent to your divorce I will draft a Separation Agreement for you. Some couples who come to me for mediation want to avoid attorneys, but many couples with whom I work take the Agreement to separate attorneys for their review. The Attorney will read the Agreement and make sure you are informed of your legal rights, and fully understand what you have agreed to, before you sign the Agreement.
Collaborative Law Costs:
As a Collaborative Lawyer I can work with you and other Collaborative trained professionals to help you get a divorce and avoid going to court. For this service I charge and hourly rate both in and out of our Collaborative Law Sessions. The amount of time dedicated to your Collaborative Divorce in large part, depends upon the clients, length of time you have been married, whether you and your spouse have accumulated a lot of property, whether or not you have children, where you are emotionally, in the separation process are all things that will contribute to the amount of time it will take to work through the issues that need to be resolved before you can divorce.
After the Agreement is signed, if appropriate, I can prepare and file the divorce papers for you in the courts. That involves-
– Divorce Filing Fees: Purchase Index Number
– File Stipulation of Settlement
– Placement on Uncontested Divorce Calendar
– Purchase 2 certified copies of Divorce Judgment