A CIVILIZED ALTERNATIVE TO LITIGATION
Monica L. Kaiser, Esq.
Mediator / Attorney
450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1400
New York, New York 10123
Tel: (212) 517- 3823; Fax: (212) 517- 6741
In our traditional adversarial system, each spouse
hires a separate attorney. The lawyers spend substantial time negotiating
with each other and then additional time communicating the outcome of
the negotiations to their respective clients. This adversarial approach
escalates conflict and increases fees. If the attorneys are not successful
in reaching an agreement, the issues surrounding the divorce will be decided
by a judge. Litigation delays divorce, sometimes for several years, compromises
privacy and depletes marital assets that could be divided between the
parties or allocated to provide for the children.
In mediation, the parties, with the help of a trained mediator, negotiate
directly with each other to reach an agreement on all aspects of their
separation. Couples negotiate and resolve issues such as the division
of property, parenting arrangements and child support. The mediator
is a neutral party whose function is to facilitate negotiations by identifying
issues, exploring potential solutions and advising the parties of all
matters that should be addressed in a final agreement. The result is
a less contentious and less expensive divorce.
Many mediators are attorneys with special training in divorce mediation.
After the parties reach an agreement, the mediator, who is also an attorney,
will draft a memorandum embodying the terms of such agreement.
In order for a couple to mediate successfully the terms of their divorce,
they do not have to be best friends. Marital difficulties are often accompanied
by anger, distrust and a breakdown in communication between spouses. A
skilled mediator can diffuse negative feelings and help each party present
his or her needs in a way that the other can hear and understand. This
enables the parties to fashion an agreement acceptable to both.
- If We Can't Get Along, How
Can We Mediate?
Mediation does not eliminate the need for lawyers. Mediation simply changes
the role of lawyers from adversarial negotiators to legal consultants.
Throughout the mediation, parties are encouraged to consult with their
own attorneys if they have questions regarding their legal rights. Parties
who have not consulted with a lawyer during the process often choose to
have the final agreement reviewed by their own counsel before signing
it. Mediation, substantially reduces legal fees by limiting the lawyer's
function to reviewing the final agreement and serving as a legal consultant
during the process.
- Is Mediation A Substitute For
Having My Own Attorney?
Direct negotiation expedites the resolution of issues and often results
in better long term communication between the parties. Many couples with
children report that participation in mediation has improved their ability
to resolve on - going issues concerning their children after the divorce.
Additionally, children of parents who mediate often adjust better to their
- The Advantages Of Direct Negotiation
Yes - if you are seeking to avoid a contentious, protracted and expensive
divorce and you are willing to come to mediation to attempt in good faith
to resolve your differences with your spouse. By agreeing to mediate,
you do not relinquish any of your legal rights and the mediation can be
discontinued at any point if you, your spouse or the mediator feel that
the process is unproductive.
- Is Mediation Right For Me?
It should be noted that complicated finances do not preclude divorce
through mediation and the mediator can help the couple retain appraisers
or tax advisors to assist in valuing assets and structuring the agreement.
Ms. Kaiser is an experienced
mediator in private practice. She is committed to helping couples resolve
the issues surrounding their divorce in an equitable manner without Court
intervention. Ms. Kaiser is a member of the Family and Divorce Mediation
Council of Greater New York and the New York State Council on Divorce
- Monica Kaiser's Background and Credentials
In addition to serving as
a mediator and arbitrator, Ms. Kaiser represents clients in negotiated
divorce settlements and prenuptial agreements. She also reviews agreements
reached in mediations, where she has not served as the mediator. Ms.
Kaiser's substantive areas of practice include family law, commercial
litigation and communications law.
Ms. Kaiser received her Bachelor
of Arts degree Magna Cum Laude from Duke University in 1985 and her
law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1990. At law school,
Kaiser received the American Jurisprudence Award for excellence in Constitutional
Law and had the honor of being on the Deans list. In 1991, she was admitted
to the New York state bar and the Federal Courts in the Southern, Eastern
an Northern Districts of New York. Prior to opening her own practice
in 1995, Ms. Kaiser worked as a litigator at a large New York City firm
and subsequently joined the litigation department at another prominent
New York City firm.
If you would like to explore the possibility of mediation, please call
my office at
(212) 517-3823 to schedule a free telephone consultation.