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New Jersey Divorce Mediators

Helping divorcing couples save time and reduce conflict with divorce mediation

The divorce process can be one of the most stressful and emotional times in a person’s life, and the expense and time investment only add to the pressure on an already difficult situation.

Sometimes a divorce can permanently damage a couple’s ability to behave amicably towards one another, which is especially problematic in cases where minor children are involved. Mediation can save you time, money, and stress if you’re considering a divorce. It can also help to preserve a cordial relationship between the parties.

Let us help you take the conflict out of your divorce. The NJ divorce mediators at Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski offer clients experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation through our divorce mediation services. Schedule your consultation with our team today.

What Is Divorce Mediation?


When people think about divorce, the first thing that comes to mind is the angry courtroom scenes from popular media. But there are other ways to go about divorce.

Divorce mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution that allows the divorcing couple to come to a legally binding divorce agreement without going to court. This method saves time and money.

Just as importantly, it also helps reduce conflict in the divorce process by encouraging a less adversarial and contentious process. When there’s less conflict, couples can build a healthier relationship moving forward.

When Should Mediation for Divorce Be Considered?


Each couple going through a divorce has a unique set of circumstances, but whether their divorce is amicable or high conflict, mediation can be a valuable tool for helping bring the marriage to a conclusion.

Mediation can support couples who are going through an amicable divorce

The collaborative nature of mediation allows for couples to create a divorce agreement that reflects their needs and wishes without the outside influence of courts and judges. This is especially important when couples want to determine custody and parenting time in a way that creates the greatest amount of consensus.

Mediation can help couples in high-conflict relationships de-conflict their divorce

When couples are undergoing a high-conflict divorce, litigation may be necessary—but it also may pour fuel onto the fire. Mediation is a less adversarial approach that helps couples turn the temperature down on their divorce. Experienced mediators can improve communication and keep parties focused on their priorities.

Mediation can save time and money

A litigated divorce can quickly become expensive and drawn out.

Mediation involves less paperwork, fewer court-mandated deadlines, and focuses on the decisions that need to be made to resolve any issues.

Mediation can preserve privacy

In New Jersey, all information that ends up in court documents becomes part of the public record. That means that, even though divorce feels intensely private, information about your divorce can be found by others once your divorce is finalized.

However, mediation prevents that information from becoming part of a court record. Mediation can provide a more discreet approach to divorce for couples with substantial assets, contentious divorces, and those who work in the public eye.

Note that a judge has the option to order a divorcing couple to engage in mediation for their divorce. In certain circumstances, such as custody disputes and financial disputes, the judge will always order mediation.

If you’re considering mediation or have been ordered by a judge to undergo mediation, the skilled mediators at Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski can give you legal advice, guide you through the mediation process, help facilitate an agreement, and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Our Divorce Mediation Services


Mediation can be applied as a process to the many different aspects of divorce. Our team of experienced divorce mediation attorneys can help clients use mediation to reduce stress and conflict in the following areas.

Child custody and parenting time

Custody and parenting time are among the most important issues for couples getting divorced. After all, no parent wants to miss watching their child grow up. Because parenting time is such an emotional subject, it can lead to strong feelings and increase conflict during a divorce.

Mediation is an excellent tool for navigating custody arrangements. Because mediation focuses on creating consensus whenever possible, mediators can work with parents to identify their key priorities and concerns and create a plan that helps them achieve those goals.

Child support

Along with child custody, child support is another hot-button issue for parents during a divorce. In the state of New Jersey, both parents are required to contribute to the financial support of their child, but what parents perceive their obligations to be can vary greatly.

Whether you’re struggling to agree on how to cover certain costs or need to modify child support agreements following a life change, mediation can help you focus on your child’s best interests.


Whether you’re seeking temporary alimony, determining an initial alimony agreement, or modifying an existing agreement, mediation is an effective, flexible method for helping couples come to a mutually agreeable arrangement.

Equitable distribution of assets

When it comes to dividing up your marital property during a divorce, there’s a lot to consider. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that during a litigated divorce, you and your spouse’s assets will be divided equitably but not necessarily equally. However, the court’s decisions may not always feel equitable, and these feelings can often lead to increased conflict.

During the mediation process, you and your spouse have more control over how you divide up your shared assets. While it might not be easy, working with an experienced divorce mediation attorney can help you prioritize what’s most important—and in the end, that can make it easier to let go of the things that aren’t.

High net worth divorces

Given the significant assets involved, high net worth divorces are often more complex than other divorces. Mediation can help divorcing high net worth couples reach a consensus with less conflict and greater control over how assets are divided up. What’s more, mediation can help keep your divorce proceedings out of the public eye and safeguard your reputation and assets during a difficult time.

High conflict divorce mediation

If you’re in the middle of a high conflict divorce, you may not feel like mediation can help you.

We encourage clients to remember that the goal of mediation is to reduce conflict and create consensus—and while it may seem impossible, mediation can work very well for couples who feel embroiled in conflict. Mediation brings the divorce process into a non-adversarial setting so an agreement can be reached more efficiently and with less stress.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Mediator


While all divorces are challenging and emotional times, an experienced divorce mediation lawyer can help you minimize the stress and expense of divorce so you can look forward to your new beginning.

Our divorce mediation attorneys work with clients from Essex County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Bergen County, Passaic County, Morris County, Somerset County, and Ocean County. We’re here to help you take the first steps forward.

Divorce Mediation FAQs

When can you use divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation can be used at any stage in your divorce.

Before divorce, you can use mediation to settle the following matters:

  • The division of marital property and debts
  • Alimony
  • Child custody
  • Parenting time
  • Child support

You can also utilize mediation during and after divorce. Generally speaking, any issue can be mediated during the divorce. After the divorce, mediation can be used to modify child support, alimony, and other issues.

When will the court require a divorcing couple to undergo mediation?

There are two circumstances where the court will require a divorcing couple to undergo mediation: custody disputes and financial disputes.

These include:

  • Legal and residential custody
  • Parenting time
  • Relocation of a parent
  • Division of assets, debts, and marital property
  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Child’s health insurance
  • Child care expenses
  • College costs
  • Tax issues

How much does divorce mediation cost?

Attorney fees vary but the cost of divorce mediation is usually much lower than the cost of a divorce that proceeds entirely through the court system.

Is divorce mediation useful for divorces involving abuse or domestic violence?

Generally, the court will not force someone to undergo mediation if there are allegations of domestic violence or abuse. In cases where mediation goes forward, the mediator is required to stop the mediation if the mediation:

  • Would be inappropriate for any reason
  • Encourages a power imbalance between the parties
  • Fosters abusive behavior between the parties

What if we can’t reach an agreement in divorce mediation?

Parties aren’t required to reach an agreement in divorce mediation, even if that mediation is court-ordered. If the parties can’t come to a decision during the mediation process, they will go to trial where a judge will resolve the issues for them.

How long does divorce mediation take?

The length of time required for your divorce mediation depends on two factors:

  • The complexity of the issues
  • The willingness of the parties to come to a compromise

Is a divorce mediation agreement the same as what we would get from a judge? Is it enforceable?

A mediation agreement is enforceable. A judgment based on the agreement is usually filed with the court, in which case it is as enforceable as a court-rendered agreement.

My spouse and I argue all the time. How do I know we’ll be able to work together in a mediation?

A knowledgeable divorce mediator is experienced in getting high-conflict couples to reach a compromise. This is why having the right mediator is a critical aspect of a successful mediation process.

Will I be able to pay a lower amount of child support if we go through mediation versus traditional litigation?

It depends. While New Jersey has a specific formula used to calculate the amount of child support owed, divorcing couples are able to agree to a higher or lower amount during mediation.

Do both parties have to participate in mediation?

Yes. In order for the mediation to be binding, both parties must agree to the mediation agreement. If necessary, mediation can be carried out in separate rooms, via telephone, or even online in some cases.

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