Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does divorce mediation take?
While there is no fixed timeframe, my goal is to keep you moving forward with as little stress as possible. If there are only a few open issues, two or three one-to-two-hour sessions may be sufficient. When children are involved, or there are multiple issues, three to five sessions may be needed. If you feel your issues are very complex or specialized, I can break the process down into as many sessions as needed.

2. Do I need to go to court?
No. If you and your spouse can agree to all terms in writing, I can do all the necessary court work for you and file for an “uncontested divorce.” Everything the court needs to finalize your divorce can be done in the comfort of my office.

3. My spouse and I moved into separate homes and separated everything but our health insurance plans a long time ago. Since we have no open issues of contention, how can I make my divorce official without a long, drawn out process?
The most effective option in this circumstance is to hire me as your independent legal counsel. Ailie L. Silbert Law and Mediation is a boutique firm that specializes in very personal, responsive service. I will assess what, if any, outstanding matters need to be addressed so that divorce papers can be finalized efficiently, and you are properly protected. Once I have all the facts, I can prepare your divorce papers quickly and file them as soon as you and your spouse find time to review and sign them.

4. Once I sign an Agreement, how quickly can I get divorced?
Sometimes the devil is in the details, or the fate of a busy city. The timing of your divorce depends on how soon an agreement is reached and how quickly the courts can process the papers. Usually, everything can be completed within six to nine months.

5. My husband and I have been married for over 25 years and taking the next steps for a divorce is really hard for me. We have a lot of complex assets, making it even more stressful. Can your firm help?
I know this is hard. I can handle your needs with many of the same methodologies used in court, and work with the same experts, but unlike the litigation process, you will have more time and energy necessary to focus on your journey and next steps. I’ve had the privilege of serving later-life divorcing couples throughout my career, and I have been honored to receive praise and gratitude for my dedication and understanding.

6. My same-gender spouse and I lived together for an extended period of time before we were able to marry. How does that impact my divorce?
This is all the more reason why mediation may make sense for you. Since the statutes and case law surrounding same-sex marriage are so new, many same-sex couples prefer to settle out of court. Couples can reach an agreement based on their shared history together and sense of fairness.

7. We’re in the process of going to court, is it too late to start mediation?
It’s never too late to start mediation. I became a mediator because I noticed too many couples losing control during litigation and checking out of their own divorce. Mediation will give you and your spouse more control and say over the process.

I have experience with complex litigation. I know how to work in conjunction with your lawyers and your court schedule. Even if you began the process in court, mediation allows you to positively reshape the direction of your divorce. Mediation can help narrow the issues, diffuse anger and streamline the process, even if you can’t agree on everything.

8. How can I ensure I have quality time with my children?
This is where mediation and out-of-court settlement can be especially beneficial. Unlike the litigation process, mediation gives both parents the ability to create a schedule with their children that is realistic, fair and loving. It also gives you greater flexibility should you need to adjust your schedule in the future.

9. How can I create realistic child support payments?
As long as you are informed and propose a reasonable alternative, you don’t have to adhere to New York’s child support formula. I can sit down and help you explore what the needs and resources are for both households. Many couples I work with come up with their own formula that is realistic and recognizes the big picture of their family’s needs and expenditures.

10. How are you paid?
I am paid by the hour. In mediation, no retainer is needed, and payments are made at the end of each session. For legal services, payments will be made in keeping with my retainer agreement. In addition to cash and checks, for your convenience I also accept credit cards, PayPal and QuickPay. In both instances, you and your spouse can negotiate how fees are allocated between you.