“Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.” For various reasons – health, health insurance, children, religion – many couples want to live separately from each other without getting divorced. Through divorce mediation, these couples can craft an agreement for setting up separate lives without going through the legal process of ending their marriage. While there is no official legal separation in New Jersey, couples can create plans for living separately. It is almost like getting divorced without the divorce, but with one limitation – you can’t marry someone else.
In mediation, a trained impartial mediator can help the couple resolve issues of parenting, child support, spousal support and dividing the assets and liabilities. For some families, this kind of informal arrangement is enough. Others, who want their agreement to be enforceable by a court, can have an attorney use their mediated agreement to create a binding contract and/or file the mediated support plan with the court. By starting with mediation, instead of using two attorneys, the couple saves time and money. Moreover, divorce mediators foster compromise, minimizing stress and arguments. Generally, couples are more likely to follow an agreement they drafted together.
So, if you’re like many couples – ready to separate, but not ready for divorce – a mediated agreement may be the way to go. It is a great way to create a plan for your future designed by you with your needs in mind.
For more information on creating an agreement for living separately, or on any divorce mediation issue, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.