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The goals of mediating a divorce

There was a time when divorce in Rhode Island was always adversarial. In order to divorce, couples had to hash out their differences in court. Everything that was said was a matter of public record and the couple was actively working against one another to get the most out of the situation. This type of divorce scenario -- while still possible today -- often breads hate and resentment between the spouses.

Today, divorcing couples have another option -- divorce mediation. Through mediation, couples can work with a neutral third party to come up with a compromise. They can work together to create an individualized solution to their divorce legal issues. This way the couple can privately agree to the decisions that they must abide by following the divorce.

There are three main goals to mediation. The first is to minimize conflict. Instead of being an adversarial process, mediation require compromise. The parties must work together to find a solution. This often helps the couple avoid further emotional issues which is especially important if the couple must continue as co-parents following the divorce.

The second goal of mediation is to avoid the hassles of litigation. Mediation seeks to avoid the trauma, and the expense that a traditional divorce can create.

Finally, mediation seeks to create a mutually acceptable agreement between the parties. The ultimate goal is for the couple to come together and solve the divorce issues -- including property division and child custody. These agreements must be legally sound and enforceable.

An attorney can help Rhode Island couples determine if mediation is right for them. An attorney can also help guide people through the process and make sure their legal rights are protected.

Source:, "Divorce Mediation - Overview," accessed Dec. 15, 2014

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