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Mediation may be the answer to a more stress-free divorce

If you and your spouse are separating and agree on most things regarding the details, but still need a little help in certain areas, mediation may be the answer. Mediation can be a quicker process than dragging everything through the court, and it might also be less taxing on your pocket book.

In many instances, choosing this route may speed up coming to a fair agreement with which you and your spouse are both content. Part of a mediator's job is to ensure an agreement is fair and equitable and takes place in an environment of safety.

There is control in the process

You will retain some control in mediation talks. For instance, you and your partner will have a say in any documents involved in the process, when and where to meet with a mediator and if you would like to have your individual lawyers present during these meetings. Mediation is usually handled privately, unlike court cases that become public once opening a case.

What to look for when choosing a mediator

When choosing a mediator, there are certain attributes that may come in handy. The person chosen should:

  • Be a good listener
  • Be able to explain things in an easy-to-comprehend manner
  • Have accreditation or certification as a mediator
  • Be knowledgeable about the mediation process
  • Provide screening of both parties to ensure fairness and safety

A mediator who has accreditation completes specialized training and understands what is necessary to facilitate the mediation process. Part of that is ensuring that you and your partner are suitable candidates for mediation. For example, if a mediator discovers that there are instances of abuse in a marriage, he or she may use a different approach for the mediation process so everyone feels safe. That could mean conducting talks while partners are in different rooms or on the phone.

Signing an agreement

Your mediator will draft a mediation agreement that stipulates the particulars of the process, such as when and where the meetings will take place, who foots the bill for the mediator, your mediator's name, and the details surrounding the sharing of any documents that will be involved during these meetings. Be sure to read the agreement thoroughly, making sure to understand what it entails before you sign it. It should also stipulate how mediation talks can come to a halt if they are not meeting their intended goals.

There are many positives about the mediation process that may be able to help alleviate some angst-inducing situations that could otherwise accompany your divorce. Getting legal advice may help you to be clearer about your rights regarding the process, and to determine if proceeding with a mediated divorce is the potential best course of action for your particular situation.

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