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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?
Do You Value Communication?
There's no right or wrong answer to this. Some spouses may not want any kind of communication with their soon-to-be ex-spouse once the gauntlet of divorce has been thrown down. Since mediators will often ask parties to communicate (even if through a proxy) in order to find shared interests and compromises, a communication embargo isn't going to work.
That being said, if you believe that you could be willing to communicate in order to quickly and efficiently resolve your divorce, mediation may be the best option.
Do You Feel Threatened by Your Spouse?
One of the main features of mediation is that it removes the adversarial buffers that separate parties in courtroom litigation. If you feel threatened by your spouse, feel you cannot communicate properly when he or she is involved, or have been the victim of abuse by him or her, you probably won't want to participate in mediation.
Mediation can still occur when spouses have different personality types, but it's up to you to decide what kind of environment with which you're comfortable.
What Can You Afford?
Divorce mediation can often be far less expensive than a traditional divorce, so your pocketbook may be the final straw in deciding over mediation. Then again, you may have found a divorce attorney who has quoted you a flat fee for your divorce that is more reasonable than anything you've heard from a mediator.
An attorney can help you determine whether your specific divorce situation may lend itself to mediation or not, typically in the span of a free consultation.