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Using Mediation in a Divorce


Posted on Jan 07, 2014

A high percentage of divorces are handled in mediation. In fact, most Dallas judges will want you to attend mediation first, to try to reach a settlement.

So, what is mediation?

Mediation is an informal process that allows the couple to work with a neutral third party to help negotiate and settle conflicts. It is important to know that mediators don’t take sides.

The mediator will generally try to understand the aspects of your divorce, from the splitting of assets to discovering each spouse’s needs and desires. Most often, both spouses walk away feeling content with the agreements and compromises that were made during mediation.

Your mediator should be a trained professional, such as a psychologist, social worker, marriage counselor, lawyer or former family law judge. The court may assign you a mediator or your lawyer or family counselor may have someone to recommend.

In an ideal world, you would be able to talk with your soon-to-be-ex and come to a great agreement with which you are both happy. Unfortunately, that usually doesn’t happen and you end up not seeing eye to eye on every detail, especially since one spouse normally comes into the divorce proceedings with various levels of emotion – anger, sadness, regret, fear or resentment. That is where mediation comes into play. The goal of mediation is to help people reach a settlement. Many times, you are able to agree on a more creative settlement than you would have been able to in court. Therefore, you will actually get a say in what you want.

There are several benefits to mediation. It is less expensive than going to trial and disputes can be handled in a less hostile manner. The last thing you want at this point is a long drawn out legal battle – you have been through enough. Mediation can help you resolve your differences so that your divorce can proceed uncontested, meaning you have both agreed on a settlement.

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