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Filing For Divorce? Mediation Fundamentals

by Layla Bryant

If you're preparing to file for a divorce, you might be thinking about ways to avoid contentious litigation. One of the things that you may be thinking about is potentially attending a mediation service. Mediation is a process where you meet with a neutral third party who will help you and your soon-to-be-ex navigate the settlement process. However, it's important that you fully understand the mediation process before you make your decision. Here's a look at some of the things that you need to think about. 

You'll Still Need A Lawyer

Many people mistakenly believe that opting for mediation means that they no longer need to retain a lawyer. However, you'll still want to have a lawyer to work with along the way. Remember that your mediator is not a legal professional. They may help you come to agreements, but they can't provide you with actual legal advice nor ensure that your agreements are within the legal guidelines and expectations. Instead, make sure that both you and your ex-spouse attend mediation with the support of a divorce lawyer. That way, you have the legal guidance and support to ensure that the agreement reached will be accepted by the court.

Mediation Can Save You Money

One of the biggest reasons why people opt for mediation over litigation during a divorce is because they typically save substantially when opting for mediation. The alternative of litigating your divorce with your attorneys can add up quickly when you consider the hours often spent negotiating settlements and asset distribution. Mediators typically charge less than a divorce lawyer who has to fight for you, and they often can help you come to a settlement much faster than you typically would by arguing the case in court or with your lawyers.

Mediation Results In Fair Settlements

You might be thinking about opting for mediation because you believe that you'll get a fair settlement in the process. The fact is that mediation isn't about being fair. The goal of mediation is to simply come to an agreement on the divorce settlement, but the specifics of that agreement don't matter at all to the mediator. 

As a result, the only way to ensure that you're getting a fair settlement out of your mediation process is by knowing what you are and aren't willing to compromise on and working with an attorney. Those are the best ways to protect your interests and ensure a fair settlement whether you choose mediation or not.

Talk with a local divorce lawyer today for more information about how mediation could help with your divorce settlement.