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Deciding between a courtroom divorce and mediation
Deciding between a courtroom divorce and mediation
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A divorce can easily develop into a lengthy and contentious legal process. When stress and volatile emotions combine, a courtroom face-off with a soon-to-be ex-spouse could become an overwhelming experience. Through mediation, however, a couple may dissolve their marriage and forgo a prolonged courtroom battle.

Unlike traditional divorce litigation, mediation allows each spouse to negotiate his or her desired outcome. Discussing issues such as property division and child custody with a neutral mediator can lead to a much less confrontational atmosphere than a courtroom.

When a couple does not have children, the negotiation process may bring about a property division that both spouses view as fair. Under Massachusetts law, property and assets acquired during a marriage may divide fairly during a divorce. Spouses who can negotiate fairness without the input of a judge may find that mediation helps them reach their goals.

According to Forbes magazine, skilled mediators ask questions designed to clarify each party’s position regarding what will produce satisfactory results. The couple negotiates through each spouse’s legal team, and without the court’s intervention.

Each year, nearly two million cases go through the U.S. divorce courts. Preparing for the process takes time, and understanding what could cause a delay may help reduce stress. Planning ahead allows a couple to decide whether mediation will meet their needs.

The divorce process has three phases and may not require a trial, as reported by MarketWatch. Paperwork, discovering assets and understanding each spouse’s post-marital needs generally complete the process. If a couple can determine the outcome of these issues on their own, a mediator may arrive at a quicker resolution than a family court judge.