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How mediation can help during divorce

When you're getting divorced, one option that you have is to use mediation for at least part of the process. Now, it's not for everyone, but it's important to consider some of the benefits.

For one thing, it means you get to make decisions in a more relaxed setting. If going to court makes you nervous and you're worried you won't really get to fight for what you want, meeting with your legal team, your spouse, and the mediator can help take some of the pressure off.

Mediation does work best when your divorce isn't contentious. By choosing it, you're indicating that you're willing to listen and perhaps compromise. You're working with your spouse, not against him or her, as you try to find a solution.

Some experts do note that mediation is often a plus for kids, if you have them. It can reduce stress and fighting at home during the divorce process. The children watch you cooperate with your spouse, and they take positive life lessons from that. Joint custody is also more likely.

Essentially, working with your spouse allows the two of you to put the kids first. You get to decide what is best for them and what type of plan you can use to benefit them the most. This can help them transition into the next stage in life, the post-divorce stage, as easily as possible.

Again, mediation isn't right in all cases. You and your spouse may not see eye-to-eye or there could be additional factors, like emotional or physical abuse. However, it is one option that you may want to consider as you move forward. Be sure you know how it works and all of the legal options you have.

Source: American Bar Association, "Benefits of Mediation in Divorce Cases," Holly Clemente, accessed March 24, 2017

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