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Mediation can help settle divorces more amicably

Mediation is a less expensive and often more effective alternative to litigation for New Mexico couples looking to resolve divorce-related disputes. Many divorce court judges even require couples to attempt mediation before the case will be heard in court. It is important for participants to understand the differences between mediation and arbitration. In mediation, a mediator facilitates the meeting. The mediator has no decision-making power and is there to keep discussions focused on the issues. In arbitration, a third party is appointed who can render a judgment in one party's favor after reviewing the facts.

A lot can be accomplished through divorce mediation if both parties are willing to maintain their composure and focus on what they are trying to accomplish. For the process to be effective, each spouse has to be willing to give and take. This often requires letting go of some things that have sentimental or monetary value in exchange for other valuable items.

Those involved in mediation should give each other respect. The more calmly divorcing couples can discuss their issues in mediation, the less likely a judge will have to make decisions on property division. Refraining from insulting the other party and not bringing up past hurts or using past mistakes as a bargaining tool can help the process move along smoothly.

Divorce can be complicated. Couples with children or many assets often have a hard time deciding how to divide parenting time and valuable property. Mediation allows couples to work together to find solutions before the judge gets involved. Whether or not a couple plans to use mediation, an attorney may be able to advise them regarding how the state's property division laws apply to their particular divorce. An attorney may also be able to help uncover hidden assets to facilitate an equitable division.

Source: Huffington Post, "Your Demeanor can affect your divorce mediation", Diane Danois, July 23, 2013