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Mediation and Divorce: A Lower Stress Alternative

 Posted on April 21, 2015 in Family Law

mediation, divorce mediation, Kane County Family LawyerDespite being rather commonplace in today’s society, divorce can be a very messy process. The large number of arrangements to be made combined with the emotional reaction to an ending relationship can be a substantial burden for any couple to bear. The result, unfortunately, can be a stressful and bitter litigation, leading to months of fighting and increasing court costs and attorneys’ fees. Couples who are able to cooperate well enough with each other, however, may have an alternative to costly and contentious litigation in the form of divorce mediation.

Divorce Mediation Basics

Mediation is a type of dispute resolution frequently used in many contract negotiations, and may be very applicable to a divorce proceeding. It involves each spouse agreeing to work together with a neutral third party, called a mediator, to negotiate the terms of their divorce agreement. While more complex divorce cases may require services of separate attorneys, individual legal counsel is often not necessary in mediation, allowing the divorcing couple to realize substantial savings.

Advantages to Mediation

Spouses who seek mediation in their divorce frequently find the process can offer an unexpected number of benefits, including:

Individual Attention: A good mediator will provide an atmosphere devoted to meeting a couple’s specific needs, unlike that found in most courtrooms. Few courts have the time or the incentive to truly get to know the divorcing couple so that the divorce agreement can be tailored accordingly. Each spouse can also actively contribute to the conversation, often resulting in less anger or stress.

Flexibility of Schedules: The schedule of the court is set weeks in advance, with little room for adjustment by the involved parties. Mediation can be just the opposite. Sessions can be scheduled for evenings or weekends to increase convenience and to meet the family’s needs.

Greater Likelihood for Future Success: A divorce agreement dictated by the court can leave one or both spouses feeling resentful and hurt by the judge’s decision. Sometimes, such feelings can lead to a spouse testing the limits of the decree, often at the expense of the other partner. A mediated divorce settlement, however, is based on investment from both partners and must be mutually accepted before being presented for approval. If either spouse has an issue with a particular detail, it can be renegotiated and handled prior to the agreement being entered.

Example for Children: Working together at a difficult time can demonstrate to a couple’s children the importance of constructive problem solving. In addition to shielding them from the potential bitterness of a litigated divorce, mediation can help a child understand that, despite their divorce, his or her parents are truly committed the family’s best interests.

If you are considering mediation to help ease the stress of your divorce, our compassionate team is here to help. Contact an experienced Lombard divorce attorney today for more information about how a mediated divorce may work for your situation.

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