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What can couples expect from divorce mediation?

Although both spouses might know that divorce is the right choice, they might not what exactly to be prepared for during proceedings. If this is the case, couples might opt for an approach that utilizes collaborative law, rather than a divorce that's litigated in court.

Divorce mediation is an option for people who are willing to set aside certain differences and come together to reach a settlement. At the same time, they can work through the disputes that stand in the way of finalizing the divorce in an environment that isn't necessarily confrontational. During this process, both spouses will work with one attorney who is tasked with walking them through the divorce process.

Couples might understand the basic idea behind mediation, but they might not know whether or not mediation is appropriate for their divorce case. In mediation, divorcing couples can settle the same questions they would in court, which could include property division, child custody, alimony and a host of other family law questions. As such, it might be more beneficial to set appropriate important expectations for mediation appropriately. Both spouses should understand that they might have to work together or make compromises in order to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Without this in mind, it may be harder to move through the process.

Furthermore, it may be valuable to note that a divorce mediator isn't necessarily going to "take sides." The idea behind mediation is that couples want to reach a settlement that is fair, not necessarily one that meets all of their desires. Taking time to speak with an experienced mediator can help set expectations appropriately and help work toward a plan that will set the basis for post-divorce life.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Mediator as Truthsayer," Laurie Israel, Oct. 23, 2013

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