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The ins and outs of mediation for marriage dissolution

The Hollywood version of divorce is the couple falls in love, they get married, and then something happens and they get divorced. It then proceeds to get ugly, and the uglier it gets the more entertaining it gets (although The War of the Roses may have crossed the line to unlikeable characters that ultimately deserved each other).

But in real life, irreconcilable differences may simply mean that. Different life goals, different priorities in regards to family or you find you have nothing in common once the passion cools. You don't hate each other - you just don't need to be married to each other.

In Ohio you can jointly file a petition in the domestic relations division of the local common pleas court. However, even in seemingly amicable divorces, disputes can arise. Common issues that can turn into disputes include alimony and child support payments, custody arrangements and visitation rights and property/debut division.

Divorce mediation is often the best option for uncontested divorces

A lawyer and/or trained mediator works with both parties to find a satisfactory conclusion. They are a neutral third party who facilitates communication between the two parties. The mediator does not give legal or financial advice and both parties retain separate attorneys who then can stay on if the case ends up in the courts.

It is a much less aggressive way to separate. Mediation will have a lower impact on kids if they are involved, and it will also set the tone for how this new family dynamic of two separate but equal units works.

Mediation is the only divorce format where you can negotiate anything you want as long as you both agree. Often, this leads to fewer contested agreements. Perhaps you have a large and expensive collection of butterflies, books, or vintage records. Judges and lawyers might not understand the importance or worth (fiscal or intrinsic) of the collection even if you and your wife do.

It cost less. You have some money. Why shouldn't the two of you hold on to it?

It's faster. A lot faster since you aren't waiting on court dates and dealing with all the moving parts of two legal teams in battle mode.

Mediation isn't for everyone. Sometimes the dissolution of a marriage does turn into a litigious The War of the Roses scenario because the stakes are particularly high due to fiscal issues, professional arrangements and/or other reasons. He was difficult to be married to, and he's even more difficult to get divorced from. Maybe it's worth the money to get your peace of mind. If that's not the case, the marriage dissolution petition, with the help of a mediator, can save a lot of additional heartache as well as money.

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Treneff Cozza Law, LLC
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Westerville, OH 43082

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