Deciding to get a divorce cannot be an easy choice. Friends of friends are going through this or have done and it sounds like a very stressful and emotional time. When you get to this stage, you know that this is merely the first of many life-altering changes you will make before it’s over. However, if you have children, it becomes a whole lot more troublesome to deal with. The last thing you want is your kids getting in the middle of it all!

Many couples going through a divorce start searching for an appropriate divorce lawyer to get on with the litigation process. They do not know that there are other options available to them at, options that will make things a lot easier and a lot less public. It is unfortunate how many people spend years in court when it can be resolved amicably and inexpensively.

Several forms of alternate dispute resolution methods can be of far more help than a divorce and long-contested litigation. These methods can save time, money and a lot of unnecessary stress.

Mediation is by far the best way to resolve family disputes, especially divorce.

Family Mediation

Family mediation is the best form of alternative dispute resolution. It is structured, interactive, and resolves disputes in a far more amicable manner. A neutral third party member plays the role of a negotiator or a mediator. He or she helps guide the family members through resolving the conflict. Usually, family mediators resolve divorce, which is the highest form of family dispute.

Mediation helps solve common divorce issues, like division of assets and debts, custody arrangements, visitation, alimony and child support agreements.

A mediator encourages dialogue between the two parties. He or she encourages understanding without letting it dissolve into an indiscriminate shouting match. Instead, the mediator helps bring attention to the common areas of interest that might help lessen mutual animosity.

It’s the mediator’s job to help the family members find a beneficial solution to their dispute. The mediation session concludes with signing written agreements, which a lawyer drafts.

The Mediator’s Role

Mediators are not advocates; they are neutral persons in the conflict. Mediators are not judges either, nor do they stand in for one. It is not part of their job to dictate the outcome of the conflict. They can advise but not force. It’s up to the disputing parties to come to a resolution.

Mediators help find common ground. They try to remove or divert attention from unnecessary obstacles in the way to resolution. Mediators promote understanding and communication between parties so they may better understand the opponent’s perspective. They ensure both parties get enough attention to express their concerns— safe to say; mediation is not an easy job.

Benefits of Mediation

  1. Empowerment: Mediation allows both parties to make their own decision on how to proceed with the dispute. It tends to give them a sense of responsibility that they can’t blame someone else, like a judge or a lawyer, for their decisions in the future.
  2. Saving Money: Mediation costs a measly amount compared to a divorce. High profile and expensive divorces are quite common. Mediation neatly bypasses it.
  3. Mutual Respect: Mediation discourages the adversarial nature of litigation. It relies on reconciliation and cooperation. Both parties must put away their differences to decide how their future would go. This allows them to repair some of the damages to their relationships and paves the way to future amicable interaction.
  4. Saving Time: Divorces can take years to resolve, especially high-profile ones. In comparison, mediation merely takes 3-6 months to resolve.

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