Whether you’re the child of divorce yourself or have learned everything you know about splitting up from movies, television, and celebrity headlines, there’s a good chance that you think of the process as acrimonious, nasty, and expensive. That is often the case, and it is why divorce mediation has become increasingly popular.

Divorce mediation represents a significant shift from the classic divorce scenario in which two attorneys go head-to-head, fighting over spousal support, equitable distribution, and child support and custody. It places a single mediator between both partners, helping them to reach an agreement in each aspect of the dissolution of their marriage in a faster and less costly method.  It all sounds good, but if you’re in the midst of a divorce, you may be wondering whether divorce mediation can actually work.

The simple answer is yes. Though there are certain scenarios in which mediation is not advisable – most notably in situations involving domestic abuse, situations when a spouse has hidden assets or where one or both partners struggle with mental health or addiction issues — beyond those types of dynamics the approach can offer real benefits. Most people who go through mediation find it is both less costly and less stressful, and this is of particular value when there are children involved. The process also takes far less time than having to deal with scheduling court dates, and in many cases can be wrapped up in less than ten sessions.

Those who doubt that divorce mediation can be successful need to understand more about the process. Here are some of the most important points:

  • A mediator will help keep the temperature down in conversations with your soon-to-be-ex. They keep things focused and know how to steer both sides away from points of contention, working to find a middle ground.
  • The American Bar Association encourages the use of divorce mediation and has created Model Standards of Practice to guide divorce mediation practitioners. Good mediators generally have graduate degrees in either the law or in a mental health field, as well as a significant amount of training.
  • Divorce mediators do not attempt to force a couple to reconcile. They are not marriage counselors. They are there to help you find a fair solution to the various elements of divorce.
  • Divorce mediation generally results in the same financial outcome as litigation, as the process involves the same assessment of the couple’s financial dynamics.
  • Resolving issues of child support and custody in a more peaceful setting is better for your children and avoids putting their fate into the hands of strangers.

If you are embarking on a divorce and you would like to avoid having it turn into a highly contentious situation, then divorce mediation may be your best answer. For more information, contact our office to set up a convenient time for a consultation.

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