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What role can mediation play in a Rhode Island divorce?

As many Rhode Island couples may know, the end of a marriage is a very emotional time. While divorce may be the best option for some Rhode Island couples, it is not something they should handle alone. In addition, some spouses find that, despite their divorce, they still share the common goal of working together to resolve their divorce legal issues. Therefore, they may decide that family mediation is a good option to consider. That being said, it is important to understand what mediation can and cannot achieve.

First of all, it is important to understand that unlike a judge, a mediator is not a decision-maker. The individuals seeking a divorce are the ones who will ultimately come to an agreement with regards to settling their divorce. Couples should not rush this process. Disagreements may happen, but many times a satisfactory solution can be found.

In addition, it may go without saying that getting divorced can be an emotional time. Some individuals will turn to the Internet to research their legal rights. However, it is important to keep in mind that this cannot replace the advice of an attorney. Family law is nuanced, and it is not possible to simply "Google" what a judge's decision would be.

Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge that mediators come from all sorts of professional backgrounds. Some mediators were former attorneys, but other professionals such as social workers and mental health professionals may also serve as mediators. A mediator cannot offer legal advice, so individuals interested in mediation may still want to retain an attorney.

In the end, many Rhode Island couples seeking a divorce may find mediation useful. No matter what a couple's net worth is, many of the divorce legal issues they face -- including child custody, property division, child support and spousal support -- are the same. Mediation can be a useful tool for many. A Rhode Island family law attorney can help couples seeking divorces determine if mediation is right for them.

Source: The Good Men Project, "5 Myths About Divorce Mediation," Arianna Jeret, Sept. 28, 2015

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