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Preparing for Divorce Mediation

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Divorce on Friday, August 12, 2016.

The Florida divorce process can be difficult, but divorce mediation may help, which is why it can be useful to understand the basics of divorce mediation. It is important to be prepared for the process, which many spouses may receive help doing. Divorce mediation may be a choice the couple makes, or it may be court mandated. The circumstances of each divorce, however, are different, so it is important that the needs and concerns of the particular couple are addressed and the couple is prepared to focus on those issues.

First, it can be helpful to know what to expect and to not expect the process to be simple or without stress. The mediator will work to create a comfortable environment, and the couple will work with the mediator and other representatives during the process.

It can also be useful to keep in mind when the process can be difficult that the couple is in the best position to negotiate their divorce settlement agreement, rather than having the court decide for them. As such, the couple will have more direct control over the decision-making process to resolve divorce-related disputes during the mediation, as opposed to the litigation process.

It is also important to keep an open mind when negotiating settlement proposals during divorce mediation and to be prepared to negotiate through difficult decisions and potential trade-offs. Spouses should know their needs and wants beforehand and have an idea of potential areas of compromise.

It may also be helpful to discuss some issues, such as child custody and visitation, beforehand. Even if all of the divorce-related issues the couple has to resolve are not determined at mediation, any issues that can be resolved during mediation is a positive and can avoid costly and contentious disputes that may require litigation.

Mediation is most useful when the parties know how the process works, what they hope to achieve and understand how to negotiate which they can be guided through. Because mediation is a valuable family law tool that helps couples reach settlement agreements they have decided upon, rather than the court, it is important for couples to understand the mediation option and its potential benefits.

Source: DivorceMag.com, "How Your Lawyer Can Help You Prepare for Divorce Mediation," Brian Musell, March 30, 2016

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