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Do you need the court’s approval to go through divorce mediation?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | FAMILY LAW - Divorce

Many divorcing spouses lean towards mediation because of the control and privacy it provides. Generally, the courts do not intervene during the process, allowing parties to discuss the divorce issues on their own. Nonetheless, many wonder if they have to receive a go signal from the court before undergoing mediation.

Not a requirement to initiate and proceed

In New Jersey, you generally do not need the court’s approval to proceed with divorce mediation. Mediation is an alternative settlement process that couples can choose to undergo before or after filing a petition for divorce. It is a voluntary process where both parties work with a neutral third-party to negotiate and come to an agreement on various aspects of their divorce, such as property division, child custody and alimony.

When you will need the court’s approval

While you do not need court approval to start mediation, you need to submit the agreements you reach during mediation to the court for them to become legally binding and enforceable. Once both parties agree on the terms and finalize their mediation agreement, they would usually have an attorney draft a Matrimonial Settlement Agreement (MSA), which is then submitted to the court for approval during the final divorce hearing.

This process allows the court to ensure the legal compliance and fairness of the agreement to both the parties.

Considering mediation?

If you are considering mediation for your divorce, it is advisable to consult with a family law attorney who can provide guidance specific to your situation and help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. This can also help you make informed decisions and discover whether mediation is the right choice for you.