divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

uncontested divorce, contested divorce and litigation

When a marriage is in trouble, you may feel as if your life is being turned upside down. On top of facing a possible divorce, you find yourself dealing with words that you have never used before; a whole new vocabulary that can be difficult to understand. So let me try to clarify a couple of basics for you.

uncontested divorce

Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce and Litigation; Jennifer Safian, Safian MediationAn uncontested divorcemeans that you and your spouse are in agreement about getting a divorce, and that you believe that you will be able to reach an understanding on all divorce related issues including property division, spousal/child support, and a parenting plan for your children if needed.

A mediator can help you and your spouse develop this agreement, navigate some of the small bumps that you could encounter on the way. A Settlement Agreement will be drafted reflecting all your joint decisions so that you can proceed to the next step and obtain a divorce.

The parties may choose to have separate lawyers review the agreement after which one lawyer will submit the legal document to the court on behalf of one party and by not appearing in court to “contest” the divorce, the other party acknowledges agreement. The lawyers will help you finish the process so that you can sign the papers. Once signed the divorce process will be completed and you will be divorced.

contested divorce

Safian image purple bar uncontested divorce contested divorce and litigation DPLIC 73617211_Resized

A contested divorce means that you and your spouse are not in agreement on any of the divorce related issues and from the outset have chosen to go the adversarial route by each hiring your own attorney. Each attorney will fight to get the most for their client.

A protracted process of discovery will ensue, with each lawyer trying to expose faults and weaknesses of the other party in order to win. You may end up in an expensive litigation which could last for years. If the lawyers are unable to reach an agreement for you and your spouse, you will end up in court where the judge will be the one to make the final decisions for both of you and your children. He will issue orders that the parties will have to abide by.

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Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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  1. Lois Lawrence February 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    This is a great explanation of common misunderstandings. I would only add that most cases that start as contested cases, eventually settle short of trial –sometimes as a result of limited discovery on financial issues rather than in spite of it. I have a short article on my blog about a slightly different type of confusion over terms: uncontested divorce vs. no-fault divorce. http://wp.me/p231gi-2S

  2. Jennifer Safian
    Jennifer Safian February 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you Lois for your comment and contribution!

  3. Belinda Rachman, Esq. February 16, 2012 at 6:15 am - Reply

    I will keep you in mind if I get a call asking for a mediator in New York. I have never known who to send people to and now I do! I am in Southern California and can help your folks too.

  4. Jennifer Safian
    Jennifer Safian February 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Thank you Belinda.
    I appreciate your thoughts and I will check out your website and keep you in mind should I get a request for someone in your area.

  5. Dave Anderson December 2, 2016 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    I am working on a divorce with my wife and was wondering what to do if we are both in agreement. I did not know that we would still need an attorney even though we are in an agreement with the terms that we have decided upon. However, because it is a legal issue, I understand that we will need to have the aid of an attorney. Thanks for the clarification.

    • Jennifer Safian
      Jennifer Safian August 31, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

      A mediator could help you review all your decisions and make sure that you have included all those that need to be included. An attorney needs to then prepare your legal settlement agreement. If you need more clarification, feel free to call me at the number on my website.

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