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All Press Releases for January 24, 2014 »
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Divorcing couples should consider mediation as alternative to litigation

The process of seeking a divorce can be extremely stressful.
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    January 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The process of seeking a divorce can be extremely stressful. Aside from the emotional strain that comes with ending a long-term relationship and creating an entirely new living situation, many couples face significant challenges in moving on and beginning a new chapter in their lives. Indeed, questions about child care, finding a new home, the family's financial future, and continuing to work can be overwhelming. The last thing that individuals need at this point is the added enormous cost and stress of litigation.

Fortunately, mediation is available to couples seeking divorce as an alternative to expensive, emotionally taxing litigation. In most cases, mediation is actually required before trial. In addition to being less expensive, mediation offers individuals an opportunity to better understand the issues in their divorce and to play a more active role in crafting solutions.

The idea behind mediation is simple: an impartial third party meets with both parties and their respective attorneys to discuss the issues, learn about the circumstances and to assist in developing solutions to problems as they arise. Unlike litigation, the emphasis is not on using an adversarial system to settle disputes, but rather to work collaboratively to solve problems fairly and constructively to the extent possible.

A primary advantage of mediation is that it allows individuals the benefit of self-determination - to craft their own solutions to their own problems. The nature of the final agreement reached in mediation is entirely up to the parties and is limited only by their imagination. More than anything else, the process offers individuals an opportunity to be flexible. Furthermore, because the parties are the ones who came up with the terms of the agreement, the requirements thereof are far more likely to be fulfilled.

One additional benefit of mediation is efficiency. In most cases, the mediation process takes a fraction of the time that litigation does. This is primarily because mediators are not required to follow evidentiary or procedural rules, which are often complex. A mediation is essentially an informal settlement conference. This not only saves additional cost, but also allows individuals to gain closure and move on with their lives.

Of course, an agreement that comes as a result of mediation is legally binding and enforceable against each party. After the mediation process is complete, the agreement is filed with the court and ratified by a court order which is sent into the presiding judge for signature.

Even if you choose to seek divorce through mediation, it is important to speak to an experienced divorce attorney. Many mediators will not mediate for parties who are not represented by counsel, and this is because, even if the mediator happens to be an attorney, the mediator is prohibited by the mediation rules from providing any legal advice to either party. Additionally, without counsel, most parties will have no idea if settlement proposals are fair, reasonable, guided by the law, etc., and are therefore at a disadvantage without legal advice during mediation. A divorce attorney knows the process and can provide essential advice tailored to your individual circumstances. For more information about the divorce process or to discuss whether seeking divorce through mediation is right for you, speak to a Board Certified family law attorney today.

Article provided by Lewert Law Offices, P.A.
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