Mediation: An Interview with Gale B. Weinberg, Esq.

By: Ashley Tate Cooper, Esq.

September 24, 2018

The firm of Weinberg & Cooper, LLC can help you resolve your family law issues through mediation. Gale B. Weinberg, Esq. has been a trained mediator since 1996. Her decades spent as a lawyer have given her a firm legal foundation. She has in-depth knowledge of the law and knows how courts are likely to rule on various family law issues. Her goal as a mediator is to help clients find the best solution for their family. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Weinberg and discuss mediation and divorce.

1) What is mediation? Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. The goal is to reach an amicable resolution of the issues that need to be resolved. The process is confidential. Resolutions can be fashioned in a manner that satisfies the parties.

2) Why should I pick mediation over litigation? Parties who engage in the mediation process with good faith intentions to reach a resolution can finalize a divorce agreement in a more cost and time effective manner.

3) How does it work? The parties first need to decide whether mediation is suitable to their case by consulting with a mediation friendly attorney. The parties then retain the mediator and must decide whether to attend mediation with or without legal counsel present. An experienced mediator will request the necessary disclosure and information to resolve the parties' issues. Once resolution has been reached, the mediator will usually prepare a Memorandum of Understanding and ask each party to review the resolution with an attorney. Thereafter, the agreement is memorialized in a form acceptable to the Court.

4) Is it successful? Mediation can be successful when the parties negotiate in good faith and want to reach a fair and reasonable resolution to their issues.

5) Is it cheaper than litigation? Mediation usually is cheaper than litigation provided there is full cooperation and a commitment to the process.

6) Do I need an attorney? It is not absolutely necessary to have an attorney; however, it is highly recommended that a party consults an attorney before starting mediation so that he or she has some awareness of the legal issues that should be addressed and some knowledge of the law. Often, a party consults an attorney periodically through the mediation process (if the attorney is not attending mediation sessions). An attorney should review the Memorandum of Understanding.

7) Do I need to file for divorce first? No. However, when a divorce action is filed, the parties are governed by court process and timeframes that may interfere with the mediation process. Parties are also free to agree upon a date, other than the date of filing of the divorce complaint, when marital assets and liabilities are no longer shared.

6) How do I get the mediation process started? Call my office at 201-487-7171 for more information. We are available to help.