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Greenwich Office:203-622-4455

Law Offices of Doug Wells Greenwich Connecticut Law Offices of Doug Wells Greenwich Connecticut

35 Mason Street, 3rd Floor, Greenwich CT 06830


Competent and Compassionate Representation


Mediation: A Good Alternative to a Court Fight in Divorce

Fairfield County Divorce Mediation Lawyer

While ultimately a state court must legally dissolve a marriage, options exist for the divorcing couple to determine the divorce terms like property division, child support, alimony, and child custody. Instead of a judge deciding the best arrangements for the family, the couple may be able to draft a marital settlement agreement wherein they agree to their own terms after negotiation and compromise.

Mediation is the most popular means for divorcing couples to negotiate an effective marital termination agreement. The mediation process involves a neutral third party called the mediator who has special training in conflict resolution and successful negotiation techniques. The mediator helps the divorcing spouses to communicate effectively, find common ground, reach compromise, get through impasses and be creative in hammering out an agreement.

Another important part of the mediators role is to help the couple define the issues to be resolved and gather information needed to make informed decisions about those issues.

Most states have divorce laws or court rules either mandating mediation before court litigation commences for couples unable to agree on divorce terms, or making a mediation referral discretionary with the court. Such laws encourage couples to come to an agreement rather than expend personal and court resources.

However, a couple gets to mediation, if they cannot reach an agreement, proceeding to litigation is the likely next step.

Mediation has been touted as having many advantages over litigation including:

  • Less adversarial
  • Often cheaper
  • More private (confidential unless otherwise agreed)
  • Less stressful
  • More creative
  • More personal control
  • More predictability
  • More satisfying when both spouses have similar ethical views and want to remain respectful
  • Better in preserving a good relationship when co-parenting is in future

As helpful as it can be, mediation may not be a good process in some types of situations:

  • When a spouse has a history of violence, abuse or other extreme behavior
  • When a spouse has a history of dishonesty
  • When one spouse is intimidated by or afraid of the other

If you are contemplating divorce, be sure to discuss with experienced family law attorney Douglas J. Wells the option of resolving your differences with your spouse in mediation. Call 203-622-4455 or fill out the online contact form.

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