Maddox & Gerock

703-883-8035

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Can mediation make the divorce process easier?

Every family confronting a divorce has to resolve some issues. Many couples have substantial disagreements that prevent them from merely drawing up a neat divorce agreement.

Divorce mediation can present a good option for couples in a Virginia divorce who do not want to head straight into litigation, which can be stressful and expensive. While mediation may not work for everyone, it can offer several advantages. Speaking with your attorney can help you figure out whether mediation would make sense for your situation.

How the process works

In the course of mediation, a trained mediator works to facilitate discussion between the soon-to-be-exes. He or she may help them frame their issues, offer solutions and encourage compromise. The mediator cannot compel either party to agree to anything. The couple may also decide to stop the mediation process and initiate litigation.

More control for the parties

Many couples feel mediation gives them greater control over their decisions. The process offers the opportunity to address specific concerns and look for solutions that make the most sense under the circumstances. Because people feel greater ownership over the final outcome, they tend to have an easier time keeping to the agreement later.

Lower emotional cost

Because the mediator works to de-escalate conflict and facilitate communication, both parties may find it easier to focus on the issues without the stress of negative emotions. This can yield a benefit to the children as well, decreasing the level of stress they experience.

Financial advantages

Mediation can also save time and money. This is typically a reasonably streamlined process that bypasses many of the technicalities involved in litigation. Even without an agreement on all the issues, mediation can still take some of them off the table, reducing the topics to determine in court.

When mediation may not be best

Generally, even couples experiencing a great deal of conflict can use mediation productively. However, if even one of the spouses adamantly refuses to cooperate, mediation cannot work, as the mediator cannot force either party to do anything. If a spouse acts deceitfully, refuses to produce necessary information or just is not at all open to compromise, litigation may be a more useful option.

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Maddox & Gerock, P.C.
8111 Gatehouse Road
Suite 410
Falls Church, VA 22042
Phone: 703-883-8035
Fax: 703-356-6120
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