Couples who are going through a divorce in Massachusetts and want it to go as amicably as possible may want to consider mediation. An alternative to litigation, mediation is often less stressful, more affordable and quicker. Mediation is not for every couple, but for those who choose this method and follow certain tips, it can be a good way to split with fewer emotional scars.
According to USA Today, mediation occurs when a third party, known as the mediator, helps the couple come to an agreement about the division of assets and debt, living situations, child custody and spousal support. The mediator helps each side negotiate and uses conflict resolution skills to deal with disagreements.
It is important to understand that not all mediators are the same, so it is a good idea to conduct research. Interview a number of them and make sure they have experience with divorce mediation. Experts recommend that each side hire a lawyer as well, as many people do not understand what they have a right to ask for.
After deciding on legal counsel and a mediator, Money Crashers recommends taking some time to prepare for each mediation session. This includes gathering all relevant documentation in regard to assets, debt, retirement accounts etc. It also saves time if each party thinks about what they really want out of the mediation process and what negotiations they are willing to make.
Mediation is best for couples who are willing and able to communicate, and both must agree that mediation is the route they want to take. Mediation is not a recommendation if one spouse is an abuser, has addiction issues or if one side is unwilling to compromise.