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The pros and cons of mediation

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Many couples face complex disputes at the end of a marriage. Divorce mediation may be an avenue for resolving these issues if both spouses are willing to seek amicable conversations to reach a settlement. This process, however, may not work for every couple.

In mediation, spouses attend one or several closed-door sessions with a neutral third-party mediator who is often an attorney. It is important to assure that the mediator is experienced and qualified.

Through conversations, the spouses negotiate issues such as the division of assets or child custody. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, they may pursue their case in court.

This process is less stressful because it takes place in an informal send more comfortable setting. It does not have the legal formalities and procedures of a courtroom.

Mediation can take place quicker compared to the scheduling and procedures of hearings and other legal proceedings. At times, however, arrangements may have to be made for work or child care but the process has more flexible scheduling. The process is usually less expensive than the typical divorce. There are also less court fees.

Mediation often brings a better resolution to issues because both spouses worked directly and amicably to reach compromises and had the right to reject offers. Self-determination is the major theme of mediation.

This can also provide a positive atmosphere for the spouses' future interactions.

Mediation may impractical if one of the spouses is uninterested and will not fully cooperate. Both spouses must be committed to trying to find a solution and prepared for the ups and downs of mediation sessions.

Despite the best of intentions, mediation may not result in an agreement and the parties may have to proceed with legal action in court. Mediation and negotiation is not an option when there was spousal or child abuse.

An attorney can help a spouse seek and prepare for mediation. A lawyer can also help assure that a spouse can seek agreement on important divorce legal issues.

Source: TG Daily, "Is mediation a good idea for your divorce?" By Awais Ahmed, Oct. 4, 2017

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