New York State Divorce Medication Counseling Center

Mediation: A marriage can be ended without going through court

T The Divorce Mediation Counseling Center (hereinafter referred to as the Center) helps qualified couples get a divorce without having to go to court. The Center was established in partnership with local courts, law schools, and non-profit organizations to provide free divorce mediation services to reduce the pain, trauma, and expense that families must suffer during the divorce process. If you are a resident of New York City who is thinking about divorce, you can benefit.

Free Divorce Mediation Service: 4 meetings with the coordinator for 90 minutes

T The main work of the center is free divorce mediation. If the Center determines that a couple has the eligibility to mediate, they are given the opportunity to meet with the Program Coordinator a total of four times for 90 minutes. If you have a child, you can do it a total of six times. Based on their knowledge of divorce law, the coordinators create multiple solutions for the two sides to communicate smoothly. Some of the coordinators are third-year law school students and will conduct the mediation under the supervision of a law school professor who has extensive experience in divorce mediation.

The meeting with the coordinator takes place at the Collaborative Family Law Center in Lower Manhattan. However, both spouses must agree to participate. If an agreement is made, it will be written down and included in the order of divorce or the divorce judgment. But court filing fees are the responsibility of the parties, not the center.

Volunteer attorneys and expert referrals are available

T The center also connects eligible couples with volunteer attorneys or “collaborative practice” experts. However, due to the limited number of trained volunteers, it is difficult to receive benefits. The center provides free mediation services for cases conducted by Collaborative Divorce Professionals. If you are not eligible to receive the free services provided by the Center, the Center staff may recommend appropriate experts to help you.

Divorce mediator: It aids a neutral mediator in reaching an agreement during divorce mediation

M Mediation is conducted by a neutral third party who assists the two parties in communicating with one another. There are a number of provisions that both sides must agree to in order to divorce, which help find a point of agreement faster through coordination. The coordinator helps the parties focus on the future and leads them to make their own decisions. The mediator maintains a neutral position without taking sides on either side and does not judge what has happened in the past.

What is Collaborative Law/Practice?

I In divorce collaborative law, each spouse has a specially trained lawyer. The couple meets in one place with their lawyers, identifies the parts they need to agree on in order to get a divorce, and shares their opinions with each other. You may include a financial planner or a mental health professional in this meeting. If one of the couples wishes to file a lawsuit in court, the divorce mediation process ends immediately. 

Not recommended for child abuse or domestic violence

M Many couples want to find a center and get services before divorce proceedings begin. If your divorce case has already begun, you can contact the center and ask for a specialist referral. The center is also linked to the New York City courts for divorce services. However, we do not recommend a divorce mediator if the whereabouts of the spouse cannot be located or if settlement is virtually impossible in cases involving child abuse or domestic violence. If the volunteer attorney is not available, one of the spouses has already appointed a lawyer, or one of the spouses is not eligible to receive help from a free attorney, you can contact the following contact information. If you are not a New York citizen and are not eligible for free services for other reasons, you can search online for “Find a Collaborative Lawyer” to find the information you need.

Address of the Collaborative Family Law Center

80 Centre Street, Room 133, New York, NY 10013

Phone: 212-428-5592

Email Address:

Your contact information must be included in the email content.

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