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PLM Family Law

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Mediation can be an effective method to negotiate a divorce

There are many issues in dispute during a divorce in North Dakota. Whether it centers around spousal support, child custody, property division or any other aspect of a case, the situation can be complicated and contentious. This could result in a protracted legal battle that costs time, money and damages the relationship. In some cases, however, there is sufficient flexibility between the sides that negotiation is possible. This is where the benefits of mediation are clear.

Understanding the mediation process and its benefits may provide a basis to determine if it is a worthwhile avenue to explore. Families are commonly left in turmoil during a divorce. Mediation has the potential to mitigate the damage or eliminate it entirely. Since it is non-confrontational by design, the participants may be able to move forward with a cordial and even friendly relationship at its conclusion.

Financially, mediation is more cost-efficient than going to court and having a trial. In some states, the financial outlay might reach $17,000 or more. A significant part of that is paying for various legal services. Divorce attorneys are generally paid hourly. Mediation costs around a third of that per person. The mediator can be contacted whenever he or she is needed and this does not cost extra as it would with a divorce lawyer. Privacy concerns are prevalent in a divorce. With mediation, the negotiations take place in a private office and stay between the spouses and the mediator. A court case is public.

A trial is unpredictable. When the parties are acrimonious and negotiation is fruitless, the trial may be necessary. Often, the outcome leaves each side disappointed or unhappy. With mediation, the sides discuss their goals and the mediator facilitates finding common ground until a workable agreement is reached. Since divorce is such a life-changing event, having a sensible discussion about it and trying to agree on how to end the marriage might be effective personally, emotionally and financially. When considering using mediation, having advice from experienced professionals can be helpful and may be a strategy to settle the case amicably.