Full House? Why Wait? Mediate!

Posted: May 19th, 2020 by

Full House? Why Wait? Mediate!

Is your house feeling a little too FULL lately? Mary-Kate Olsen, former child star of the television sitcom “Full House” thought so recently when she asked a Manhattan, New York court to grant her emergency petition to begin divorce proceedings. While her divorce may have seemed like an “emergency” to her – her husband expected her to move out of the marital residence in the midst of the pandemic – the court did not agree. (Update: she has since been able to file since New York’s Office of Court Administration lifted an eight-week COVID-19 moratorium on all criminal and civil court matters as of May 25.)

While some courts’ physical doors are still closed and their services remain mostly frozen in time, there is little legal relief that the court can currently offer families in distress. But, there are alternative options to litigating a divorce in a courthouse. Divorce – and most family matters – can also be resolved through mediation. So, what is the benefit of mediating as opposed to waiting for the courts to reopen?

In mediation, you and your not-soon-enough-to-be-ex can work virtually with a trained mediator – a neutral third party who can help you reach an agreement tailored to your particular circumstances. The timing of a mediation session, or sessions, simply depends on your availability and that of the other party and the mediator. Mediation allows for your issues to be addressed and negotiated a lot quicker than waiting for a court to schedule your case amongst all the other cases the court is now scheduling, or rescheduling. More importantly, in mediation, you and your partner are the decision-makers – not a judge whom you have just met. You have the ability to control the outcome of your negotiations rather than leaving it in the hands of someone who does not know your family.

Our firm’s trained mediators have been conducting mediation sessions through videoconferencing to help parties resolve their family law matters while maintaining social distancing guidelines, saving the wait for a court date and fees to litigate. Whether the issues can be resolved in one session or more is also up to you – you can decide whether it is worth paying a mediator to continue negotiating. For questions or to schedule a family law mediation session, we are only an e-mail away.

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