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Divorce mediation can turn negatives into positives

Even if it brings an end to an unhappy marriage, it's hard to argue that divorce is a positive experience. While there is often light at the end of the tunnel, the divorce process itself can be long and painful -- for you, your spouse and your children. The burden of dividing every last bit of property, determining where the kids will live and deciding how much one spouse will pay alimony and child support can bring out the worst in people. It can also leave deep emotional scars.

Is there any way to avoid this flurry of negativity and still carry out a divorce? Absolutely, say proponents of divorce mediation. Texas residents who have used this method to end their marriages know that divorce doesn't have to be a ruthless power grab that leaves both spouses in emotional and financial tatters. By working out all of the necessary details with a professional whose goal is cooperation, you can both walk away satisfied and on good terms with your new ex.

A divorce mediator sits down with both spouses and works out all the regular aspects of a divorce, including property and asset division, child custody, child support and alimony, if they apply. Rather than having each spouse represented by an attorney, the mediator tries to get the two parties to agree on the terms, rather than fight over them to see who can walk away with a better deal. For couples who don't have an unusually large amount of assets, mediation can often be completed in one or two sessions. From there, the couple only needs one attorney to handle the paperwork.

Divorce mediators come with many different backgrounds. Some are attorneys or former attorneys; others are relationship counselors, and others have backgrounds in financial planning. Any divorce mediator you choose should be certified, but from there you have choices. If your mediator is an attorney, he or she can inform you of all your legal rights and take care of the divorce papers. A mediator with a counseling background may be best for couples with extra emotional issues. The choice is up to you, which is the beauty of this method: The right mediator allows you and your spouse to have a divorce that is faster and less expensive, and may even be a positive experience for you and your family.

Source: NewsChief.com, "The attorney alternative: divorce mediation," Andrea Calcano Cruz, Oct. 28, 2012

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