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How can mediation help address your divorce legal issues?

Getting a divorce can be an emotionally-charged event. Feelings such as anger, resentment, guilt and sadness bubble to the surface, causing some Rhode Island spouses to continue fighting even after they have separated. However, leaving the matter up to a judge via litigation may not end up in the result you want. If you can set your negative emotions aside, mediating your divorce might be one way to tailor your outcome to meet your needs and move forward.

First of all, even if you feel like you just can't communicate with your ex-spouse in a manner that will achieve any kind of result, keep in mind that the mediator is a neutral facilitator. Usually both parties meet in one room.  If there is a restraining order, you do not need to be in the same room as your ex-spouse during mediation. The mediator can serve as the go-between, leading both spouses to a fair resolution. Although highly unusual, if the other party agrees, you can have an attorney by your side during the mediation process to ensure you understand what is happening and that your interests are protected.

Also, when it comes to your marital assets, they will be analyzed as thoroughly as they would be should you litigate your divorce. Outside experts can be brought in to determine your true net worth. This provides you with a basis for property division that is realistic.

When children are involved divorce mediation may be the way to go. Litigation often pits one spouse against the other, leaving the children stuck in the middle; a situation which is not healthy for them. Since parents will have to work together to raise their children even after the divorce is final, mediation can set the groundwork for good communication and a parenting plan both parents find acceptable.

Of course, there will be situations in which mediation is not the answer, particular if abuse is an issue. However, for many Rhode Island residents mediation is a way to resolve their divorce legal issues in a fair and appropriate manner.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Eight Myths of Divorce Mediation," Joanne Naiman, Accessed Sept. 1, 2016

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