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All Press Releases for January 08, 2014 »
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Mediating a divorce may safe time, money and heartache

The mediation process involves a neutral third party to help a couple navigate their issues during their divorce.
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    January 08, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- There's no magic button to make divorce easy for anyone, but people who are willing to listen and cooperate in a neutral environment may have an easier time getting through their split than those whose divorces go through the court system. Many divorces are finalized each year in California, and the litigation process can be costly and time-consuming. With the process of mediation, even difficult matters such as child custody, support and property division can be handled smoothly, at a fraction of the cost of a litigated divorce.

It's even possible for each spouse to have their interests protected during a mediated divorce. However, this process isn't for everyone, and the decision to have a mediator handle a divorce should never be taken lightly.

How mediation works

According to the American Bar Association, the mediation process involves a neutral third party, usually a certified mediator or an attorney with mediation experience, to help a couple navigate their issues during their divorce. During mediation, a divorce is finalized outside the courtroom, with both parties coming to a mutually agreeable resolution. The process works best if each spouse is able to listen, cooperate and treat each other and the mediator with respect.

It's not necessary to have an attorney present during mediation; however, an attorney can recommend changes to the divorce terms or review the papers before anything is finalized.

Preparing for a mediated divorce

Couples who are planning for a mediated divorce should gather together the same paperwork they would expect to have prepared in a court divorce - such as income and asset information, retirement plans, child care expenses and financial records. It helps to also come up with an idea of how to share custody of the children, and how the marital property should be divided. Each spouse should be aware that these plans may change during the mediation process.

The entire process can be over with quickly, or can take several sessions of an hour or two each. Depending on the feelings of each spouse, the mediator may wish to speak with each in private. The Examiner says that mediation can be beneficial by helping divorcing spouses tailor their plan individually, rather than relying on a judge to make the decisions.

When a mediated divorce may not be the best choice

There are several factors that may make it very difficult or impossible for a divorcing couple to go through mediation. According to Hamline University, people experiencing the following issues may be better off hiring a divorce lawyer:
- When emotional, verbal, physical or sexual abuse was present in the marriage against a spouse or children.
- When one or both spouses do not feel safe in the mediation sessions.
- When the other person is trying to cause emotional pain or keep the conflict going.
- If drug or alcohol abuse is a problem.

Understandably, emotions can run high and be unpredictable during a divorce. When one or both spouses feel they can't be trusted to make mature decisions in an uncontested divorce, mediation may not be for them.

Getting help from an attorney

If you are interested in saving time and money by having your divorce mediated, it's still important to speak with an experienced divorce attorney who will ensure your interests are represented. Your attorney may also have experience mediating divorces and can help put a close to this difficult chapter of your life as smoothly as possible.

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