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Mediation provides privacy for property division, child custody

More and more couples nationwide, including in Texas, choose to dissolve their marriages in an amicable way. Prolonged court battles for child custody, property division, alimony and other contentious matters have made way for divorce mediation. Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have spoken about the benefits of mediation as opposed to litigation.

Although the divorce mediation process can be emotional, it is also confidential. Furthermore, the concerns of each spouse are addressed, and through communication and compromise -- facilitated by an experienced divorce mediator -- all issues may be resolved. In a litigated divorce, important decisions that will directly impact the post-divorce lives of the whole family are made by a judge. It is, therefore, not uncommon for one or both parties in a litigated divorce to remain vengeful for many years.

In contrast, it is not uncommon for both parties to feel empowered after playing a part in the decision-making process of a mediated divorce. Parents can devise parenting plans to accommodate the needs of the children that are also workable and practical for both parents. Nesting, which involves the children remaining in the family home that is familiar while the parents alternate staying with them, has been found to resolve many parenting issues. Such an arrangement can protect children from the trauma of having to change schools and leaving friends behind while also having to cope with the divorce.

Depending on the unique circumstances of each family, divorce mediation can be completed in one session or a series of sessions. Both parties can be supported by their respective attorneys, who can participate in the negotiations to protect the rights of their clients. When a consensus has been reached on all matters, including property division and child-related issues, an experienced attorney will ensure the legality of the drafted divorce agreement before presenting it to a Texas family court.

Source: FOX 8, "The trend of the 'good divorce'", Shelley Roupas, Aug. 25, 2015

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