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What is the key to successful divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation gives you a chance to stay out of court, making decisions on your own and working with a third party to guide you and your spouse through the process. It's typically a faster, low-stress way to reach fair agreements when you and your spouse have not been able to do it on your own.

There are two main keys to success. The first is that you both have to be reasonable, and you have to hold realistic expectations.

For instance, you're not necessarily going to get everything you want. Compromise is a significant part of the process. If you are unrealistically unwilling to compromise or give your spouse anything, mediation may not be for you. You are likely heading for a high-conflict divorce, and a judge may need to rule on your case.

The second key is that you must be motivated to reach a final settlement. You need to be willing to work together. If one person drags his or her feet the entire time, it derails the process.

Instead, you need to come to mediation with a positive attitude. You and your spouse are going to find solutions that work. You are going to make those choices yourself, without submitting to a court order. By doing so fairly and reasonably, you know that you'll both get results you can be happy with, even if that does mean compromising.

It is important to understand all of your options when considering a divorce. Make sure you know your legal rights, your goals for the process and how to work both to uphold your rights and to reach those goals.

Source: Huffington Post, "What Most People Don’t Know About Divorce Mediation," J. Richard Kulerski and Kari Cornelison, accessed March 15, 2018

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