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Mediation can save time and money

109951483_S.jpgIt is no secret that divorcing is one of the most stressful times of life for most people. Constant court dates, meetings, anxiety that you may lose the things that matter to you most; the list of issues goes on. The good news is that the drawn-out court battles that are so popular on television are not the only way to end a union.

A process called mediation is available for divorcing couples who are willing to speak to each other rationally. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution that allows divorcing people to constructively discuss what they want out of their divorce. It is more akin to a negotiation than a legal battle. It can by in large keep people out of the court room and achieve results in as little as an afternoon.

When two people decide to go into mediation they privately meet with a neutral third party - the mediator. Mediators are not judges; typically, they are attorneys with a significant amount of experience and specialized training. It is the role of the mediator to facilitate discussion between the two parties while they figure out the terms of their divorce.

A major benefit of mediation is the amount of freedom it affords the people involved. Where a court would have to abide guidelines set by divorce law, mediation is largely free form. For example, one party could agree to give up the family home in return for the other party accepting their shared credit card debt.

Once the involved parties come to an agreement, it is simply a matter of filing settlement paperwork and presenting it to a judge for approval. Depending on how long it takes to reach a consensus, the lion's share of the divorce could be wrapped up in as little as one meeting.

The core of mediation is discussion and compromise. If both parties come in with a willingness to cede ground to the other, then they both can leave with a result they are happy with. Not to mention the fact that they will have reached their solution on their terms, not by fighting through lawyers.

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