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Is mediation the right choice for your upcoming divorce?

Mediation, as opposed to litigation is beneficial because it allows for greater flexibility and confidentiality for divorcing couples.

During the divorce mediation process, a couple works directly with a neutral mediator to come to an agreement regarding divorce-related issues like property division and child custody, states Forbes. While divorce mediation is a highly beneficial option for many couples in Texas, the decision to mediate instead of bringing the case to court should be approached with careful consideration.

Reasons to mediate

Couples who are embarking on the divorce process may be drawn to mediation because it is associated with multiple advantages. According to The Huffington Post, these include the following:

  • It allows couples to control the discussion and outcomes-During each mediation session, both parties are allowed to bring up topics they want to discuss and settle them according to their wishes. This is often beneficial because during the litigation process, decisions are left up to the court.
  • The divorce can be resolved quickly-Since couples do not have to rely on the court's schedule, they can often set their own time frame for resolving issues and settle their divorce much faster than if they were to bring it to court.
  • It provides for greater confidentiality-All documents and communications between spouses are kept private and confidential. In comparison, during the litigation process, these sensitive materials are publicly displayed in front of a judge, court employees and court officers.
  • The process is flexible-Couples who have multiple children or a busy schedule may find that mediating is easier because they can sometimes hold meetings in the evening or on the weekend.

However, one of the main reasons divorcing parents often choose to mediate their divorce is because it protects their children from conflict. In custody trials, children are often required to be interviewed by experts and even testify in court. Mediation can shield children from this often adversarial process.

Mediation isn't the right choice for every divorce

Although mediation is associated with numerous advantages, it is not always the best choice for divorcing couples. One of the downfalls of mediation, as opposed to litigation, is that all financial information is voluntarily disclosed, states Forbes. This makes it easier for one spouse to hide assets and income from the other. Additionally, in marriages where one spouse is dominating and the other is submissive, the mediation process can reinforce these unhealthy behaviors and lead to a divorce settlement that is not fair for one party.

Divorcing couples who desire to mediate their divorce should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of this process before making a final decision. In this situation, couples should turn to an attorney who can provide guidance regarding whether mediation or litigation is the best choice to resolve their impending divorce.

Keywords: divorce, mediation, litigation

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