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Don't be too quick to dismiss divorce mediation

Anger, resentment and hurt are often predominant emotions at the end of a marriage. The first instinct of many Louisiana residents is to lash out and want to take the other party to court in order to teach him or her a lesson. Before making that leap, it would be beneficial to consider divorce mediation instead.

Rushing into a contentious divorce rarely works out for either party. Often, no one "wins" when the judge makes a ruling. In fact, both parties often end up disappointed and feel as if they wasted valuable time and financial resources.

In the alternative, it may be better to view litigation as a last resort after all other options are exhausted. For instance, many Louisiana couples reach mutually satisfactory settlements through mediation. A neutral third party is available to keep them on track and keep the negotiations from degrading into confrontations. Additional parties such as counselors, appraisers and financial counselors may also be brought in to provide their opinions and assistance. The initial emotional reactions to a divorce may cloud the judgment of one or both parties at first.

This emotional reaction is what often leads couples to courtroom battles that they later regret. Divorce mediation can help couples put aside those emotions in order to look toward the future. Each party can benefit by concentrating on doing what he or she can to secure a future instead of focusing on the past. If for some reason negotiations break down despite the parties' best efforts, litigation remains an option. In addition, it may be possible to get down to just one or two issues that require the court's action instead of leaving every decision to a judge who does not really know the family or their unique circumstances.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Why Choose Mediation Over Litigation?," Vikki Ziegler, July 18, 2017

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