Is mediation an option for cases involving domestic violence?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Mediation |

Divorce proceedings can be complex, depending on the circumstances affecting the involved parties, such as the parents and their children. The divorcing couple can sometimes try mediation to settle issues out of court. However, it might not be an ideal way of approaching divorce if there are high-risk factors, such as the involvement of domestic violence.

Most of the time, these cases can be too sensitive for mediation. But in New Jersey, there is a mediation program that can be applicable despite having an active restraining order between the involved parties. A case can enter the domestic violence economic mediation program if the protected party permits it.

What are the program’s limitations?

Eligibility to participate in this type of mediation can vary. If it becomes an option, the mediation can happen with the following restrictions:

  • The protected party must initiate the process, which could require them to modify their active restraining order.
  • The protected party must complete the requirements for the program, including sessions with certified court officers and filing certifications for the mediation.
  • The mediation only involves economic aspects of the divorce, including financial concerns.
  • The mediation prohibits settling issues involving child custody and parenting time.

Additionally, the protected party can decide whether to end the mediation at any time. If they proceed with this option, the mediator and courthouse will take specific measures to separate the parties while conducting the session.

Approaching the case appropriately

Mediation can be a desirable option because it can be less costly than going to court. Still, it can be inappropriate in specific scenarios with safety risks. Some states, like New Jersey, could make it available even in cases that involve domestic violence. Still, it can be beneficial to tread carefully and seek legal counsel before considering it.