New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM), a statewide, non-profit professional organization dedicated to fostering excellence in the field of mediation, has launched a reduced-rate mediation clinic for divorcing couples to resolve the issues in their divorce while providing training for new mediators.

Eligible couples will have their divorce mediated professionally and confidentially at a reduced fee of $150 per hour by an experienced mediator who has been accredited by NJAPM as an “Accredited Professional Mediator,” or APM, assisted by a newly-trained apprentice mediator. A mediator who is designated as an APM has been identified by NJAPM as having attained a high level of education and experience in mediation.

Participation in NJAPM’s new low cost mediation clinic is limited to couples with a combined income of less than $120,000 per year who have no history of domestic violence. This program is available in Hudson, Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Couples wishing to apply for the new program should complete an application and submit it to NJAPM. Once is approved for the clinic, the couple they will be matched with an APM and apprentice in the couple’s county of residence and will be given the appropriate contact information to set up an appointment directly with the APM.

Mediation sessions will be held in the office of the APM.  The cost is $150 per hour, or approximately one-half the usual hourly fee.  All issues that typically must be resolved in a divorce will be mediated, including custody, child support, spousal support, equitable distribution of property and other related issues.  At the conclusion of the mediation, the APM and/or apprentice mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding which the divorcing couple may take to their respective lawyers for review and conversion to a Marital Settlement Agreement.  The couple’s lawyers can also file the Complaint for Divorce and help the parties finalize their divorce in court.

An application for the low cost mediation clinic can be found here. Completed applications should be sent to NJAPM, P.O. Box 6088, Somerset, NJ 08875.  If readers have any questions, please call NJAPM at (800) 981-4800.

Additional information can be found on the NJAPM website, here.