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Why Try Divorce Mediation?
People often contemplate mediation versus divorce litigation, as if it is an either-or decision. It isn't. You can still litigate if you opt to mediate. Either way, divorce mediation allows both parties to attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement, but nothing is binding. In mediation, each party has an opportunity to consult an attorney and have an attorney review the proposed agreement. Even then, there remains an opportunity to litigate.
Why mediate? Say you went to a doctor, who indicated two alternatives to treat a medical condition. One alternative involved medication and physical therapy, while the other involved surgery. Which would you pick? Many people would try the non-surgical route first. After all, surgery is an invasive procedure. It has some risks. Surgery usually requires a period of recovery. But, if the less invasive method didn't work, you could still have the surgery.
The litigated approach to divorce could be likened to an invasive procedure. Divorce mediation, however, provides the opportunity to address all of the issues that would be addressed in litigation -- except with more thought, with a better understanding of what's at stake, with less money and with the means for research and consultation. If you reach a satisfactory agreement with mediation, you certainly haven't lost anything. Far from it, you gain significantly while protecting your assets. Along the way, you save yourself time and experience far less stress and anxiety. As a bonus, you'll likely experience a better outcome for you and your children.
To file for divorce in New Jersey under no-fault grounds, the couple must have been living separate and apart in different residences for at least 18 consecutive months. There must be no hope of reconciliation in the marriage.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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