Mediation & Collaborative Practice

Most divorce cases are settled amicably. This does not mean you and your spouse will forever be friends, but the process need not be adversarial. Being civil and rational can often save you time, stress and money. Although we engage in litigation when it is necessary to move a case forward or achieve the desired goal, the majority of cases we handle is resolved by a settlement agreement signed by the parties, even our most contentious cases.

Mary Ann Aiello is a trained, experienced mediator and collaborative lawyer who has successfully mediated many difficult divorces. Many times, other matrimonial attorneys decide to use Mary Ann as a mediator to help their clients try to reach a solution without costly litigation. A mediator is neutral and although the law is explained, they cannot provide legal advice to either party, so parties are encouraged to consult with counsel of their own.

We are also frequently engaged to be the consulting attorney or to review and advise clients regarding proposed revisions to a mediated agreement. By making sure parties are treated fairly and that each hears the other party’s perspective, guiding parties to their own resolution often results in more satisfied clients.

Many clients ask about mediation in part because they want to save money. While mediation is an option, it may not be the right option where there is a power imbalance, when one party does not want the divorce or when the parties are just not nearly on the same page with respect to how to resolve the complex custodial or financial issues involved. It is also not appropriate in situations involving domestic violence, which may include physical, emotional, and financial abuse.

Getting divorced does not need to be burdensome or overly expensive. By taking a goal oriented and pragmatic approach to your case, we try to reach an amicable agreement while advocating strongly for your position during negotiations. An amicable divorce is possible for most parties. Sometimes it takes compromise from everyone involved and sometimes we need to gain leverage through discovery or other methods to bring the other party to that compromise. But it is possible and achievable–dozens of clients each year sign agreements in our office after amicably resolving their divorce matter.