If you and your spouse believe you can work together to agree on most divorce issues. Mediation is different that traditional, attorney-representation divorce in that the couple takes a very active role in creating their own divorce agreement.
Anytime there is a dispute over children
Anytime there is a dispute over child support (every state has different laws and it is more cost-effective to hire a mediator than an attorney to resolve the issue)
When there is a disagreement over property. In a traditional case, if the court decides to sell the property and divide profits, the property will be sold at a significantly lesser value
Be extremely knowledgeable about financial matters. He or she should be incredibly thorough in reviewing a couple's financial history, and may ask to review tax returns, insurance plans, ownership documents, etc.
Take the time to explicitly inform both couples about their financial situation. Often, the case may be that one partner is financially independent while the other is not, or that one knows a great deal about the financial situation while the other does not. A good mediator will take the time to right this imbalance so each spouse may make the most informed decision possible.
Discourage rash decisions, such as cashing in one's life insurance policy or preventing one spouse from seeing the children.
Allow you to consult with a lawyer if you desire and help mediate new issues and perspectives that the attorneys may introduce
National Conflict Resolution Center (www.ncrconline.com/)
Academy of Family Mediators (formerly Association for Conflict Resolution) (www.acrnet.org/)
Friends, family, word of mouth
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