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5 Reasons Why I Chose Mediation Over Divorce Court

Getting divorced is not an easy process. I hear the term "amicable divorce" and it still makes me laugh. There's nothing "amicable" about destroying a family unit. There's nothing "amicable" about derailing the entire course you'd planned for your life. There are hard feelings. There is blame. In short, there's a lot to work through.

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Unfortunately, we all process that in different ways. For some people, divorce court is a necessity. Maybe there's a custody battle, or hidden finances, or abusive/addictive behaviors that come into play. For some couples, court is inevitable.

For others, like my soon-to-be-ex-husband and I, court was an option, and after due consideration by both of us, not a great one. We chose to sit down with a mediator, bite our tongues and clench our fists (and yes, scream at him while I'm driving home alone in the car) and come to an agreement. Here's why mediation was the best choice for me:

  1. It kept our kids from seeing us slug it out in court.At our worst, their were some tense emails, but no court dates, no kids testifying about anything, just a business-like meeting in a nice, air-conditioned office.
  2. It led us to come to an agreement that was in the best interests of our children.Our mediator was very good about defining what the state required of us, giving us all our options (including things she'd seen in other mediated agreements that might be useful to us), and helping us stay focused on keeping things as secure as possible for our kids - no matter whose house they were inhabiting.
  3. It kept us both on our best behavior and made us more inclined to compromise.We both kept a lid on our tempers because neither on of us wanted to look like the bad guy, and it helped. We worked a lot more toward compromise because of it, too.
  4. It kept us from spending outrageous amounts of money on lawyers.Our mediator wasn't free or inexpensive by any means, but her fees were a drop in the bucket compared to what we would have paid if we'd each retained lawyers and gone to court. I have a friend who went through a ,000 divorce on a ,000 a year salary. And that was just her half! To make it worse, she earns more than her ex does - so that money is even more ridiculous in context. We kept it civil, and kept our money in our bank accounts.
  5. It was better than doing it ourselves.I do have friends who went the other route and hired a document prep person or a paralegal to file their papers, and they completed a workbook or did some internet research and did everything themselves. They also missed some things that a lawyer or mediator would have caught immediately - things that could have been of advantage to them or to their children. I got the value of legal counsel without the pain of dragging it all in front of a judge.
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Divorce is never a happy thing while you're going through it. Minimizing all the drama and strife that you can - especially in the negotiating process - is key to maintaining a healthier post-divorce attitude toward co-parenting and toward each other. That's going to make a huge difference to everyone's quality of life, especially your children.
Mediation may not be for everyone, but it was definitely the best way to go for us.





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Date: 08.12.2018, 22:49 / Views: 52475