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Is mediation the right fit for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse?

Historically, the divorce process has by nature been adversarial. While most divorces likely result from disputes and differences between spouses, this doesn't mean that the actual divorce process needs to become an all out war.

For some couples, mediation offers a preferred alternative to the traditional litigation divorce process. While mediation isn't for everyone, for couples who believe they can be civil and work together to resolve divorce-related issues, the process offers many benefits.

During divorce mediation, both spouses still retain their respective attorneys who provide legal advice and advocacy and help mediate the process. However, contrary to most traditional divorces, divorcing spouses meet face to face and work to find solutions regarding how to divide marital assets, account for shared property and sort out child custody matters.

A couple who enters into mediation agrees to abide by certain terms related to conduct and communication as well as a shared commitment to make the process work. In cases where there is a breakdown in communication or one or both spouses decide the process isn't working, the case can be moved to a court for litigation.

In cases where a divorcing couple successfully resolves divorce issues via mediation, there is typically a significant savings of time, money and frustration. Additionally, in divorce cases involving children, mediation affords parents the opportunity to learn to communicate which improves the likelihood they will be able to effectively co-parent.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Divorce Mediation - Overview," March 13, 2015

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