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Preparing for Divorce Mediation

You or your spouse have decided that the marriage relationship is over and that you need to move towards a Rhode Island divorce - the legal end to the relationship. The next major decision is the process you will use to untangle your lives.  Will you use the adversarial or mediation process.

Traditionally, each party would hire a lawyer to engage in an adversarial process. Today, many psychologists, social workers, lawyers and judges believe that mediation is a better alternative to a contested court case.

Rhode Island Divorce mediators are available to work with you in that process. Look into the experience of a mediator you are considering. Ask about their training and how they update their training. Do not be fooled by mediators professing to be "certified" since Rhode Island has no certification process. Some "certified" divorce mediators received their certification from online university/college or other programs that send you a book and once you pay the fee, they let you take a test online; if you do not pass the test, it is okay, as they allow you to take it again and again with the book open until you pass and receive your "certification".

Having mediated hundreds of divorces since 1995 (and represented many individuals in Family Court during that time as well), I have learned that many people walk into my office unsure of the process and therefore unprepared for mediation.

The American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, has prepared a wonderful pamphlet entitled "Preparing for Family Mediation" to help individuals prepare for mediation, describing the process, how to select a mediator, working with a lawyer and the issues to be considered.

I suggest that anyone thinking about getting a divorce should review it. Other professionals such as CPA's, financial advisors and mental health professionals should review it as well so familiarize themselves with the mediation process so that they can discuss the same with their clients who may ask about what to do when their marriages do not seem to work any longer.

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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