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Alternative solutions for Kent residents going through a divorce

Divorce can be one of the most stressful times in an individual's life. One of the reasons for this is the long litigation process that can take years to resolve. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding one's divorce, divorce mediation might be the best way to go.

A typical divorce proceeding involves many steps and a waiting game which is required after each step is finally taken. Once both spouses have obtained counsel and paid their attorney's retainer, one of the attorneys will draft the initial documents, usually a petition for divorce. Once the spouse is served, typically the spouse has 45 days to respond to the documents. Next, the waiting game will continue with a counter-petition or an answer served on the other spouse. Again, another waiting game of at least 30 days.

Once all documents are served, the discovery process begins. This includes investigation into both spouse's financial records, history with their children, contacting witnesses and investigation of any other contested issue in the divorce. Often times, expert witness are called upon to validate or find discrepancies in all records. Again, this takes more time. The actual divorce trial only last one or two days. It is everything that leads up to getting there that can take years and an emotional toll on both parties.

There is hope. A couple can decide to have a mediated divorce. This process involves a facilitator or mediator. The mediator will examine the goals and issues of each party, including child custody and child support issues. The facilitator will then draft a settlement agreement. This agreement can be negotiated and tweaked and once approved by both parties, it can be submitted to the court. The principle behind a mediated divorce as compared to a litigated divorce is that the spouses, not the lawyers or courts determine the time frame for resolving the divorce.

Kent residents going through a divorce should not stress. There are alternatives to the long, emotional process of divorce. The first step is to seek answers and find out what may be best for the individual.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Maintaining an active tempo in your divorce", Apr 1, 2013

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