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Divorce: Is Mediation Right for You?

Divorce mediation can be a cheaper and overall more pleasant way to settle what is often an acrimonious and thoroughly uncomfortable situation.

Mediation is rarely forced on divorcing couples, so it is up to the splitting spouses to determine whether to go at it in court or not.

So how can you tell if divorce mediation is right for you?

Washington is the only state to be named after a U.S. president, and its legal legacy hardly stops there. The Evergreen State is chock full of unique laws and rules, and whether you're passing through or planning to put down roots, you should be aware of them.

Whether you're acting out your "Frasier" fantasy in Seattle or scaling Mount Rainier, you should really know these 10 laws:

At least 50 percent of marriages end in divorce -- or at least, that's what most Americans still think.

But according to data from University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers, more than half of marriages that began in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s are still going strong. The New York Times' Claire Cain Miller urges the uninformed to realize that divorce rates have been dropping over the last few decades.

Is the 50 percent divorce rate a myth, and even if it is, does it matter for your marriage or divorce?

Virginia is for lovers. But it's also for students, parents, thrillseekers, risk-takers, and entrepreneurs. No matter which one of those hats you decide to wear in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you'll need to know the laws of the realm.

While in the Old Dominion, be sure to know these 10 laws:

Divorce can be stressful enough without worrying about mounting legal costs.

But as Susan Steinbrecher wrote for Inc., you might be able to complete your divorce by paying less than $100. Cooperating with your spouse and choosing non-adversarial legal options, among other tactics, can potentially keep your divorce costs minimal.

Here are five ways you may be able to lower the costs of your divorce:

North Carolina has been host to colonists, pirates, rebels, and tobacco farmers, so you may guess that the state also has a rich legal history.

You may only be visiting North Carolina for some good BBQ or planning to put down roots in Raleigh-Durham, but either way, you need to know the laws of the land.

While in the Tar Heel State, be sure to know these 10 laws:

Although not the most expensive divorce of all time, the nearly $1 billion divorce settlement recently announced between oilman Harold Hamm and his ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm is set to lighten Harold's wallet a bit.

But beyond the headline-grabbing dollar amount of the Hamms' divorce settlement, the resolution offers an opportunity for married couples (as well as those who aren't yet married, but plan to be someday) to take a closer look at the laws governing the division of assets following a divorce.

What lessons can be learned from the Hamms' billion-dollar divorce? Here are three:

With Thanksgiving and other holidays on the horizon, last-minute requests to change your child custody agreement are likely to bubble to the surface.

And since the courts aren't likely to be an available or speedy venue to modify your existing custody agreement, you and your ex need a good way to accommodate Thanksgiving plans (and other holiday plans) outside of court.

Just in time for the holidays, here are a few potential ways to modify Thanksgiving and holiday custody plans without going before a judge:

You can't put a price tag on peace of mind. But for billionaire oilman Harold Hamm, settling his divorce with ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm didn't come cheap.

A court filing released Monday shows that Hamm will pay his former wife nearly $1 billion, reports Forbes. Despite the huge payout, Hamm was actually relieved at the outcome of the divorce proceedings, calling it "a fair and equitable outcome to the case" in an email to Forbes.

Why was Hamm so upbeat at being ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to his former spouse?

Michigan was the birthplace of many of America's industrial and manufacturing dreams, and it grew up with its own set of laws.

Whether you're in Detroit living out your "8 Mile" fantasy or visiting one of the Wolverine State's many dairy farms, you need to know what's permitted by state law.

So even if you're a member of the Michigan militia, pay attention to these 10 laws you should know: