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How to determine if divorce mediation is a good option for you

Whether you got married in a New Hampshire church, courthouse or on the beach, you likely assumed that day was the beginning of a relationship that would last your lifetime. Perhaps you had only been with your spouse a couple years when you realized that would not be the case, or maybe the two of you have been together several decades now, but have determined that your differences are no longer resolvable.

In either case, you may know the path ahead includes divorce but might not know yet which settlement option to choose. State laws typically affect the ultimate outcome in a divorce, so a good place to start before deciding which route to take is to research those laws and make sure you understand your rights. If you hope for a swift, amicable settlement, mediation may be right for you.

What it is and how it works

Another term for divorce mediation is alternative dispute resolution. If you and your spouse had children during your marriage, you'll be making a lot of decisions regarding your future parenting plan. The following list includes basic facts about the mediation process, which may help you determine if it's a viable option in your situation:

  • Mediation works best when both spouses are committed to peaceful and forthright discussions meant to promote negotiations to resolve divorce-related issues and achieve a fair and agreeable settlement without going to court.
  • If you and your spouse have a lot of trouble getting along and tend to argue rather than discuss important topics, mediation may not be the best choice for you.
  • A third party who agrees to remain neutral will be on hand during mediation sessions to help you and your spouse find common ground and amicably resolve any disagreements you have regarding care of your children, property division or finances.
  • You can finalize your mediation contract either orally or in writing. Many New Hampshire spouses say getting things in writing is always best since oral agreements might not be enforceable should the need arise.

Some of the potential benefits of divorce mediation include the fact that it's usually the less expensive route to take. It's also a simpler process than litigation and may help you obtain a fair settlement a lot faster than if you headed to court.

What to do if it doesn't work

You may try mediation and determine part way through that it's not working out the way you'd hoped. It's often possible to switch options if a particular issue prompts a need for litigation.

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