Divorce Mediator - Legal Coach/Review Counsel
Divorce Mediation Attorney in n Ansonia, Milford, Orange, Stratford, Seymour, Oxford, Woodbridge, Bethany, Woodbury, Southbury, Waterbury, Shelton, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Trumbull, Monroe, New Haven, Hamden, North Haven, North Branford, Branford, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Easton, Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Greenwich.
Divorce mediation is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional litigation and courtroom drama. Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process wherein a neutral third party (mediator) will help facilitate conversations between the parties to resolve all custody/visitation issues and needs concerning your minor children and equitable division of the marital estate, the goal being to reach final terms incorporated into a parenting plan and separation agreement. The average cost of mediation varies, but is generally a less expensive route than litigating each issue all the way to trial.
However, the profession of “divorce mediator” is largely unregulated. Almost anyone can hang a shingle and advertise their services in this arena. Usually mediators have at least some training in divorce law or psychology, but it is a good idea to review the qualifications of anyone proposed to you as a mediator before you hire. Also, keep in mind that any settlement you and your spouse reach through divorce mediation must still be submitted to the Court via the dissolution process so that a Judge can determine whether same is fair and equitable under all the facts and circumstances and then incorporate same into your divorce decree.
While the role of a mediator is to promote discussion between two people who otherwise may have great difficulty talking to each other and reaching agreement on their own, success can only occur when both parties are negotiating in good faith and have reasonable expectations. Parties who underwent divorce mediation report greater satisfaction with custody and financial arrangements than those who have litigated each issue to the Court.
While there is no requirement that you engage an attorney to advise you during the divorce mediation process, you have the right to be represented in a full or limited scope capacity. Some parties prefer to have a legal coach or review counsel advise on your rights and obligations before signing an agreement. You may be at a disadvantage if your spouse has access to professional legal advice and you do not. Remember, a mediator cannot provide legal advice in their role as a neutral. Any settlement you reach must be consistent with Connecticut law and must pass the careful scrutiny of the Court.
One way to ensure your divorce mediation is conducted smoothly is to hire an experienced mediator. Prior to law school, Attorney Carmina (Tessitore) Hirsch worked for a mediation and arbitration firm in upstate, New York, where she was trained in mediation, trained mediators, and ran several mediation and arbitration programs including the divorce and family mediation programs. She is also the former co-chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and former co-chair of the Fairfield County Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Carmina’s article “Divorce Mediation: Mediating Financial Disputes” was published in Connecticut Lawyer Magazine (see link on our homepage).
Carmina serves as mediator to parties who prefer an amicable end to their marriage and choose alternative dispute resolution via divorce mediation to resolve their issues. Mediation places the power and control over decision making back in the parties’ hands rather than placing your lives and that of your children in the hands of the litigation process wherein all decision making will be undertaken by a Judge.
If you have already started the divorce mediation process and are looking for an attorney to represent you as a legal coach or review counsel, Shelton-based “Super Lawyer” Carmina (Tessitore) Hirsch, a featured author in MCLE’s “A Practical Guide to Divorce in Connecticut” (updated edition to be published in 2018), is uniquely qualified to advise you on your rights and obligations. Contact her today to schedule your consultation.