Mediation lawyer in Modiin

The process of Mediation

Sometimes, one gets to a dead end in their relationship and the obvious conclusion is one: you need to break up. This article, about the mediation process, will give you a feel if this is the right way for you.

When a married couple has come to the conclusion that there is no choice left but to separate, and both parties want to separate, it is important to settle the joint crucial matters in the best of ways. For example, you would want to come to an agreement regarding visitation rights and keeping of the children, dividing the property between you, paying alimony etc. Beginning a race of claims against each other, if in the Family Court or in the Rabbinical Court, is not necessarily the only or best way. It is possible that turning to a mediation process would be better. Below, I will elaborate about the mediation process and try and help you understand if this process is the right one for you.

The idea behind the process of mediation is to help the parties to focus on the relevant issues such as division of property, visitation rights, child support, social rights, custody over the children, etc., in order to come to a written agreement as soon as possible and without unnecessary conflict.

For the mediation to succeed, the parties need to come to the process with a true and honest desire to separate in the best of ways and to solve the dispute in peaceful ways. No one can force a couple to go to mediation during the process of divorce.

When in the process of mediation, the mediator (who could be a family attorney or a psychologist in addition to being a mediator) and the parties meet – together and separately – to get, through these discussions, to all the issues in dispute and reach solutions acceptable to both partners. After the parties come to see eye to eye, an agreement is drawn up and brought for the approval of the Family Court or Rabbinical Court.

The advantages of mediation

  • Mediation is a much quicker proses than court and cheaper too. Mediation saves many expenses from the parties such as being represented by a lawyer, and, in addition, you can save time by avoiding the load of the courts, which, in many cases, can cause delaying of scheduled hearings and can drag the process for many months. Mediation can be held at times convenient to both parties and according to their requests.
  • The agreements formulated by mediation will, in cases, enable the parties to stay in a good relation after the divorce. The agreement and the procedure take in to account both parties interests and that is why, in contrary to the court, where there are winners and losers, here both parties come to an agreement that enables them to communicate in a good way even after the procedure.
  • Creative solutions – the mediator is free to suggest different and creative solutions, to the best of his ideas. This is different form the judges who are subject to the law and case law.
  • Civilized discussion – due to its nature, the mediation process enables having a civilized and good-natured discussion about life after the divorce and regulating the relation. This differs from legal procedures where, in many cases, you can get to unpleasant tones and where parties can take harsh legal action against each other.

Does mediation have drawbacks?

The main drawback of mediation is that not every couple facing divorce is suitable for this process .For example – when there was severe violence form one of the parties, it is impossible to have a mediation process or a serious and respectful discussion. In that case, there is no choice, usually, but to go to court.

Mediation is not a legal process and so, any party that wishes to, can, at the same time, file to court. This could catch one party by surprise.

According to the law a divorce agreement must be authorized by the court. The divorce agreement settles all divorce matters. The agreement needs to be made with the full consent of both partners and there is no possibility to force any of the sides (that is one of the things the court will check when intending to approve an agreement). If one of the partners in not willing to have a divorce agreement there will be no option but to go to court and conduct the divorce procedure there.

What does a divorce agreement settle?

A divorce agreement should relate to the following subjects:

  • Property matters. The agreement needs to resolve the way the partners will divide the common property. The common property includes the rights accrued during their life together such as study funds, pension funds etc. Make sure that the agreement includes all your properties so there will be no “blank spots” in the agreement or properties that have not been addressed and/or settled, or a situation where one of the partners manages to “conceal assets” and come out more profitable than the other.
  • Child support. You need to determine the amount paid for child support – this should provide for the children till they come of age. This amount is separate from the alimony because the latter is paid until the termination of the marriage. After the divorce the wife is not entitled to alimony form her husband. It is good to know that the divorce agreement does not restrict the children or prevents them from filling a law suit themselves, later, for child support, notwithstanding the divorce agreement that will be authorized.
  • Custody and visitation rights. This is one of the more difficult but crucial subjects that needs to be agreed upon. The agreement should ascertain which one of the parents gets custody and the parties need to agree about the days the other parent will see the children, how often etc. It is best to include in the agreement general understandings regarding changes in visitation rights, in the future.
  • Educating the children. It is important to finalize, in the agreement, the type of education given to the children. This is most important if one of the partners changes the nature of the way he/she lives, for example – becomes Baal Teshuva.
  • Any other matter concerning the divorce upon which you have reached an agreement.

The divorce agreement drawn up by the parties should be brought to the family court, who will make sure that both parties understand the agreement and that its content does not deprive any of the parties, that it is legal and – most important – that the agreement was signed by both parties without being put under pressure or coercion. If one of the parties does not comply with the agreement, after it is authorized by the court, you could file a claim to enforce it in the execution offices.

This article is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied on it as such.