Buffalo, NY Divorce Mediation Attorneys
Calm environments, effective negotiations, emotional clarity
Divorce is challenging on a number of levels and becomes even more difficult if one or both spouses choose to fight out every detail in the courtroom. Since 1995, the Buffalo divorce mediation attorneys at Pusatier Sherman Abbott & Sugarman, LLP have provided parties going through marital dissolution with peaceful resolution of the issues through divorce mediation.
Whether you live in Erie or Niagara counties, or anywhere else throughout Western New York, divorce mediation is a process where the parties involved in a divorce sit down with an impartial third party whose goal is to assist them in talking through the issues of the situation and arriving at an agreement that both sides can accept. The parties, with the mediator’s assistance, make all decisions about how to resolve the issues — the mediator acts as a guide, helping the parties negotiate in a more healthy, productive and collaborative manner than they might without a mediator at the table.
Why Choose Divorce Mediation and What Are The Benefits?
Settling a case through mediation is much more likely to result in a healthier parenting relationship between divorcing parents. If you don’t have children, the process allows you to leave a marriage with more peace of mind and dignity. The mediator helps bring all relevant information to the table, which includes requiring the parties to submit affidavits about their financial status and documentation regarding assets, liabilities and income. At the end of a successful mediation, the mediator puts together a written divorce settlement agreement. This agreement reflects what you and your spouse decided is best for your children and yourselves — not what a judge decides is best.
Once an agreement is executed, the parties make a decision as to whether they want a divorce or legal separation. If they wish to remain legally separated (which some people do to enable one spouse to stay on the other spouse’s health insurance), no court involvement is necessary at that time. Once the parties are ready to complete the divorce, the required documents are submitted to the court and the judge is asked to grant the divorce. The terms of the agreement arrived at in the mediation process become the terms of the divorce judgment.
There Are Other Advantages to Divorce Mediation, such as:
- Reaching common ground: The mediator helps you and your spouse focus on common interests such as the best interests of the children, a respectful and cordial or even amicable relationship when the process is done, financial stability for both parties and walking away seeing the agreement as fair to both of you.
- Direct involvement and empowerment: Both spouses are directly involved in the mediation process and a skilled divorce mediator can keep the process on track, even in moments of high stress, without either party being overpowered at the table. The parties make the decisions, not a judge in a courtroom or their attorneys across a settlement table.
- Informed decision making: While the mediator is not acting as the attorney for either party, he or she can teach the parties all about the law on each issue, so that decisions are made having context for what the law sets forth. Also, due to the mediator’s requirement for financial transparency, information regarding assets, liabilities and income is put front and center so that both spouses can see the whole financial picture.
- Costs contained: Mediation is far more cost effective and time efficient than litigation — and saves you from emotional stress from a prolonged litigation process and potentially being in a courtroom.
- Privacy and confidentiality: Unlike in a courtroom where dirty laundry can be aired, mediation is a private process, and anything that is said in mediation by a party cannot be used against them if the mediation terminates and the parties proceed to litigation.
Divorce and Separation Mediation Services
At Pusatier Sherman Abbott & Sugarman, LLP, our attorneys offer divorce or separation mediation services that help bring peace and rationality to a marital breakup. We have served clients with a wide range of family law issues since 1976. We are ready to help you reach a fair and amicable agreement with your spouse.
Our firm is proud to offer mediation services for residents of Erie, Niagara and all other surrounding Western New York counties. We recommend that you read the following articles to more fully understand the divorce mediation process:
- Anatomy of a Divorce Mediation
- Mediation — The Wise Alternative
- How to Resolve Conflict Wisely
- Mediation and Fee Contract
Contact Our Divorce Mediation Lawyers in Buffalo, NY
Mediation is a simpler, less expensive and more fulfilling dispute resolution mechanism. For a free consultation for you and your spouse with one of our trained, experienced mediators Steven R. Sugarman and Audrey Rose Herman, call our office at 716-873-6765 or contact us online. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays, with weekend and evening meetings available by appointment.
If you would like to review the Mediation and Fee Contract that parties execute before beginning the divorce or separation mediation process, please click here.
Recent Blog Posts
The Buffalo News reaches out to Steven Sugarman for Advice on Dealing with Disappointment and Managing Conflict Now that the 2016 Presidential Election is Over
Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
Attorney and mediator Steven Sugarman provides his advice about how to deal with contrary opinions during a divisive election in "Tips on surviving Tuesday's election, from an etiquette expert, a divorce mediator, a boxing referee".
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
Pusatier, Sherman, Abbott & Sugarman, LLP partner Richard Abbott, Esq. and associate Audrey Rose Herman, Esq. volunteered for the recent Elmwood Village Festival of the Arts, a local non-for-profit.
Steven Sugarman Coaches University at Buffalo Law School Students To Great Success in International Competition
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
The University at Buffalo School of Law’s CJ Cook and Joe Lavoie took second place at the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition in Vienna, Austria. They were coached by professor and professional mediator Steven R. Sugarman, Esq. They credit their success to their ADR classes at UB, their training with Professor Sugarman, and the intensive workshop at the competition.