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Couples turning to mediation for the sake of their children

Rhode Island couples who are seeking a divorce will be interested to learn that full blown litigated divorces are becoming less common as the number of couples seeking collaborative divorce increases.

Many couples are seeking alternatives to litigation in order to make things easier on the children. Instead of making revenge their primary goal, divorcing couples are seeking to make things more amicable. This can be achieved by going an alternative route such as divorce mediation.

Divorce mediation is a process in which a neutral third-party mediator facilitates a resolution between the parties by helping them reach an agreement. The goal of the divorce mediation process is to create a mutually agreed upon and legally sound divorce resolution. Mediation allows couples to protect confidentiality. Because couples are working together to come up with an agreement, this process is usually easier on children.

The economic downturn has also played a part in the increase in collaborative divorce proceedings. With mediated divorces, settlements are usually quicker, which leads to reduced costs for the divorcing parties. The majority of divorces involve some form of litigation and can cost large amounts of money. Some estimates are as high as $20,000. Experts say, a mediated divorce, on the other hand, can cost as little as $1,500, depending on the couple.

In addition to mediation, couples can participate in what is called the collaborative process. This involves each party signing an agreement that says they are going to go through the process. If it does not work out, then they can turn to litigation.

The process helps couples to work things out in a way that allows them to continue a relationship. It can even help couples build skills to help them to resolve conflicts in the future.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Can your divorce be collaborative?" Jen Weigel, July 10, 2012

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