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Divorce can be a difficult procedure and can be extremely trying on the nerves and emotions of the whole family. Besides the fact, court proceedings and lawyer fees over a drawn out custody battle or scheduling conflicts can become extremely expensive. Divorce mediation is a relatively new procedure that has been used to calm the stresses of the divorce proceedings.
When both spouses decide to pursue divorce mediation, one benefit it realized instantly: meet with one divorce mediator and each spouse is only paying half the cost. You can still hire an attorney if you wish to have extra counseling. In divorce mediation, the couple controls how quickly or slowly decisions are made, when the divorce petition is filed, and what the terms of the divorce will be in the marital settlement agreement.
Another benefit of divorce mediation is that each step is done by agreement. This is in contrast to the adversarial process in which attorneys set court dates and judges make decisions with very limited time and information.
Divorce mediation is best done under the watchful eye of an attorney. Many people try to do their own divorces these days, but they run into difficulty trying to understand the laws and the complex paperwork involved. An attorney that performs divorce mediation can prepare and file all of the paperwork for parties representing themselves.
Of course the ones that suffer from a divorce the most are the children, usually due to the conflict between the parents. They can heal by knowing that their parents are working together to make decisions without putting them in the middle.
Using divorce mediation does not mean you give up your right to go to court. If divorce mediation just isn't working for you, retain a separate attorney and have the judge decide the issues through the adversarial process. What has occurred in divorce mediation will remain confidential, so the parties can have a fresh start.
An attorney in divorce mediation will provide you with enough legal information so that you can make your own decisions about what you feel is fair. While an attorney acting in the role of mediator cannot advise either party, the attorney can share his or her general knowledge of how the court would address the issues in your case. Each spouse is also encouraged to consult with a separate attorney for legal advice, especially before signing the marital settlement agreement.
The idea behind divorce mediation is that people simply want to be heard and understood in the divorce process. However, sometimes emotions run high as the opposing spouse may stir anger and resentment in the other. A mediator trained in counseling can assist the parties in acknowledging feelings but not allowing those feelings to control the decision-making process.
In private divorce mediation, all discussions and tentative agreements are confidential. This makes it safe to propose solutions for possible consideration without having them thoroughly thought out. This can lead to new solutions neither party had previously considered.
Divorce mediation calls for both parties to find common ground for agreement. While court proceedings may make each side emphasize the negative about the other person in order to "win" against that person, divorce mediation allows for the positive to be portrayed. Especially when there will be future contact between the parties, such as in joint parenting, whatever goodwill remains between the parties should be preserved and not destroyed.
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Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.
Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.