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Looking at the benefits and drawbacks of divorce mediation

For some divorcing couples, sitting down together to work out a settlement agreement is a viable option. For other couples, mediation simply will not work.

Here is a look at both the benefits and drawbacks of divorce mediation.

A good alternative

A traditional divorce in court can be lengthy, contentious and very expensive. If you and your spouse believe you can work together and come to agreement on such matters as property division, spousal support and child custody, mediation may be a great solution for you. Mediation takes place outside of court and no judge is present. You and your soon-to-be-ex will meet with a neutral third party, a trained mediator, to develop a workable agreement to present to the court. Mediation is a much faster approach to divorce than litigation and much less expensive.

The downside

Mediation will only work if the parties can commit to the process of creating a settlement agreement. It is not recommended in a situation where there has been emotional or physical abuse or where there are addiction issues at play. Also, if mediation does not work, the alternative is traditional divorce. Both parties would have to engage attorneys to help resolve the sticking points, which will increase the cost of divorce.

A calmer approach

Divorce is stressful for all family members, but studies have found that mediation reduces the emotional turmoil that comes with breaking up the family unit. If you have children, you must consider how the divorce will impact their lives. Studies show that mediation is much easier on children than ligation. If you and your spouse can communicate in a reasonable, respectful fashion as you work out divorce details, that ability will serve you well going forward. Your marriage may be ending, but you will always be parents. Even as you go your separate ways, you must keep the channels of communication open as you continue to raise your children.

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