Divorce Mediation in New York


During the divorce process, some couples choose to use mediation as an alternative to contentious litigation or family law proceedings. This option allows the couple to work with a skilled mediator to resolve the various issues that must be addressed during their divorce, including such matters as custody and visitation, asset and property division, and even child support. Mediation is often a great choice for couples that are amicable and interested in working together to create a suitable agreement for their family’s needs.

If you are your spouse would like to avoid the stress, time, and cost of courtroom proceedings, our Manhattan firm can work with you to provide skilled mediation. As a neutral third party, we will help you and your spouse communicate and negotiate, but we won’t make any decisions for you. If requested, we can assist you and your spouse in creating a plan that properly addresses the issues that are relevant to your situation.


Mediation is not right for every couple, and for the process to be successful, you and your spouse must understand the significance of certain general conditions:

  • There must be full financial disclosure
  • Both parties must agree to allow the other to freely communicate their wishes, needs, and expectations
  • Both parties must be absolutely committed to giving their best efforts to negotiating out of court with a mediator

Furthermore, you must consider a number of statements that can help you determine whether mediation is a fitting solution for your family.

The decision to divorce is mutual. If one spouse does not wish for the marriage to end, mediation is not the right option. It is nearly impossible to mediate a contested divorce.

Neither of you hopes to reconcile. Mediation is often best for couples who can set their emotions aside and focus on the task at hand. If both of you have accepted that your split is permanent, you are likely emotionally ready to handle the mediation process. There will still be sensitive parts of your divorce, but you and your spouse will be better prepared to work together to make the right decisions for your situation.

You are not easily intimidated by your spouse. During negotiations, it is very important that you speak up and expresses your wishes. If you feel strongly about a certain matter, you will need to vocalize your concerns and discuss the issue with your spouse. Mediation is not a fitting choice if you believe you will most likely be too fearful or shy to challenge your spouse.

You and your spouse desire to stay on good terms. If you and your spouse are determined to be amicable to maintain a healthy relationship in the best interest of your children and other relatives, mediation may be a beneficial solution. Working with a mediator allows you and your spouse to negotiate the terms of your divorce in a peaceful and respectful environment, rather than through contentious litigation or in a heated battle in the courtroom. The mediation process is typically much less stressful and frightening for children, as they see their parents working together in a friendly manner, rather than arguing and fighting.

You believe in your spouse’s parenting abilities. Many couples initially choose mediation to make the divorce easier on their kids, but for this goal to be accomplished, you must be confident in your spouse’s skills as a parent. Your mediation will address such issues as custody of your children, support, and visitation. If you believe your spouse is a poor parent because of their personality traits, lifestyle, parenting style, or their relatives or friends, you will likely be unwilling to come to an agreement. If you trust in your spouse’s abilities and care for your children, you will be more willing to share their rights and responsibilities of parenthood because you believe it is the best situation for your children.

You and your spouse are both willing to be completely honest. Full disclosure from both parties is an integral part of successful mediation, and is especially important when negotiating financial issues. Honesty and transparency are crucial because you and your spouse cannot negotiate an effective and fair divorce settlement if either of you hides information from the other.

You can both commit to the necessities of mediation. This alternative divorce method should not be considered unless you and your spouse can make the following promises:

  • I promise to treat my spouse with respect.
  • I promise to act calmly and rationally during the negotiations.
  • I promise to allow my spouse to express their disagreement, concerns, and wishes.
  • I promise to do all I can to keep our proceedings out of court.
  • I promise to work together with my spouse to make the best decisions for the future of our family.

If you and your spouse can commit to these essential promises, mediation may be an excellent choice for your divorce.


If you are interested in mediation, discuss the option with your spouse and then contact our experienced team at the Law Offices of Andrew J. Spinnell, LLC. Our firm understands the sensitive issues that can arise during divorce, and you can be confident that we will provide the caring and knowledgeable legal guidance needed to create an agreeable plan for your family. For more information, please call our offices at your earliest convenience to discuss your unique situation with a skilled New York City divorce attorney.