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Cut to the Chase: Divorce Mediation

Not every divorce has to be a long, brutal fight in court. If you and your spouse are not on good terms, it may be tempting to take this route in order to make your ex suffer. Most people, however, are less concerned with revenge, and more concerned with keeping their legal fees low and moving on with their lives. If you're in this boat, you probably view the divorce process as a figurative bump in the road that is best moved on from as quickly as possible.

In the spirit of moving on, you may want to consider divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is a common way to avoid the kind of divorce drama made famous by movies such as Kramer vs. Kramer and The War of the Roses. With mediation, you will not be thrust into a dramatic courtroom battle. Instead, the issues surrounding the divorce will be handled in a private setting. You will also not immediately need a lawyer if you choose to go the mediation route. Rather than hiring your own separate lawyers, you and your spouse will employ a mediator to help you work out of court to create a mutually agreeable solution. This mediator can be a lawyer or another trained professional.

It takes some work to make mediation effective. First, make sure that your mediator is trustworthy and neutral. No breakthroughs are likely to come from working with a mediator who seems to always take the side of your spouse or even have an agenda of his or her own. Instead, a professional mediator will act with neutrality and full impartiality. This is not a one-way street. Mediators will do their part, but they expect couples to do theirs as well. This means showing up for mediation on time and remaining respectful, regardless of how hot tensions can simmer.

If tensions become too great, court is always an option. Still, mediators understand that most spouses would like to avoid court if at all possible. As such, mediators will do their best to guide cooperative couples through the mediation process. In doing so, they will help the parties work out agreements on issues such as division of assets and child custody. Depending on the complexity of the divorce, a mediator may need to call in outside help, such as an accounting firm or a psychiatrist. Regardless of who they call, mediators will be sure to keep such individuals from casting bias on the mediation. In this way, the mediators continue to ensure that divorce mediation is a clean, efficient way for couples who wish to save time, money, and their own emotions.

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William A. Feinberg 1928 - 2001

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