Why The Mediation Process Makes Sense

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Why The Mediation Process Makes Sense

Why The Mediation Process Makes Sense by Deborah E. KaminetzkyFor those who would like to resolve their dispute (whether it be a divorce or other family matters) by agreeing to terms rather than having a judge decide what is best, mediation can be a speedier, less costly and less stressful experience than a traditional litigated matter. Traditionally the parties meet with a mediator and the mediator helps them come up with a plan. The mediator will put the plan in writing called a “Memorandum of Understanding.” Should the mediator also be an attorney, they may elect to draft a legal document instead usually called an “Agreement” or “Stipulation of Settlement.”

The parties then have the opportunity to have the document reviewed by an attorney of their choice. This attorney, called the “Reviewing Attorney,” should review the document with the client and point out what the client is agreeing to and what the clients rights are under the law. The parties may then go back to the mediator for revisions, further mediation, or to execute the document depending on how the review sessions went.

You may be thinking, how is mediation less expensive if we have to pay three different people? Normally the mediation process only takes a few sessions and the reviewing lawyers only take an hour or two to be able to review the document, so the entire process takes fewer hours, which results in lower cost. The clients also avoid court appearances in which the parties not only have to take off from work but usually wait around several hours until their attorneys have a five-minute conference with the judge, so there is a savings there as well.

In a divorce mediation, your reviewing attorney should have knowledge of both matrimonial law and estate law, especially if there are children involved. Frequently, divorce agreements include a provision where child support is guaranteed with a life insurance policy, and the document needs to be drafted in such a way where the children’s support is fully protected.

The mediation process works for people who realize that they want to find a resolution as quickly and painlessly as possible so that they can get on with their lives. There are certain situations where I believe mediation would be inappropriate. For instance, I will not mediate where there is any abuse or if one of the parties has an addiction problem. People who are in abusive situations or are addicted to a substance generally cannot participate well in the mediation process.

Overall, if the parties’ goal is to make the decisions that are best for their situation, known as “self determination,” mediation makes sense.

Deborah E. Kaminetzky

 

Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516
Phone: 516.374.0074

By | 2018-10-15T15:59:29+00:00 March 2nd, 2017|Divorce Law, Mediation|Comments Off on Why The Mediation Process Makes Sense

About the Author:

Deborah E. Kaminetzky is the founding member of Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C. located in Cedarhurst and Garden City, New York. Prior to starting the firm Deborah worked at a Long Island firm where she learned the practice of Matrimonial and Family law and Estate Planning. Deborah has also worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs where she was responsible for prosecuting unlicensed home improvement contractors and negotiating settlements for consumers. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Kaminetzky was the president of a commercial property management corporation in the New York Metro area. Ms. Kaminetzky is a member of the American Bar Association (General Practice, Solo and Small firm Division and Law Practice Management Sections), National Association of Divorce Professionals, New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, New York State Bar Association (Business Law, Estate, Family Law, ADR and General Practice Sections), Nassau County Bar Association (where she serves as Vice Chair of the General, Solo and Practice Management Committee, and is active in the Community Relations and Education Committee) and The Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. Ms. Kaminetzky was appointed to the Committee on Law Practice Management of the New York State Bar Association in 2015 and has been a frequent speaker and author of articles for their journal. Ms. Kaminetzky serves on the Board of Directors of the Yashar Attorney and Judges Chapter of Hadassah as a their Treasurer, and was their Woman of the Year 2012. Deborah graduated from New York Law School in 1991 and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1986. Ms. Kaminetzky was admitted to the First Department in 1991 and the United States Supreme Court Bar in February of 2015. Deborah is on the Matrimonial fee dispute arbitration panel for Nassau County. She expanded her alternative dispute resolution practice by completing a Mediation certificate program in December of 2013, an advanced Mediation certificate program in 2015 and most recently a Divorce Mediation certificate in early 2016 from The New York Peace Institute. Ms. Kaminetzky has spoken to various groups on topics including matrimonial law, technology and social media use, and disaster preparedness for business including cybersecurity.