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Sharon Easley
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Convincing your spouse to use divorce mediation

January is the month when many think about new beginnings and fresh starts. You may be one of those who will be cleaning out closets, emptying the attic and purging the garage in the weeks to come to symbolically rid yourself of the clutter of the previous year. However, you may have a more practical reason for clearing out the things you no longer need or use.

If you are planning to file for divorce in the near future, you may be taking steps to organize and simplify your life before you move forward with your plans. Perhaps you believe this is one way to make the process smoother and less stressful. You may also consider suggesting to your spouse that you use mediation as your method of divorce. This may be a challenge, especially if your spouse is unhappy about your decision to end the marriage.

The benefits can be persuasive

Convincing your spouse to use an alternative method of dispute resolution instead of litigation may not be easy if your spouse was shocked by your announcement of your intention to divorce. Nevertheless, your efforts to persuade your spouse to use mediation may benefit both of you since litigation often intensifies any ill feelings between spouses. To try to win your spouse to your way of thinking, you may begin by outlining the benefits of mediation over litigation, including:

  • You and your spouse remain in control of the process instead of relinquishing your decisions to a judge.
  • You can work together to create an effective custody plan that works for the long term.
  • You always have the right to seek professional opinions about your finances, the welfare of your children and your legal rights.
  • Unlike litigation, mediation keeps your personal business out of the public eye.
  • An unbiased and experienced mediator can guide you through the tough issues and keep the negotiations fair and forward-thinking.
  • You can always decide to abandon mediation and head to the courtroom if things aren't working out.
  • Mediation often takes less time and considerably less money than a litigated divorce.

Convincing your spouse to use mediation as your method of divorce may take more than one conversation, and you may have to be patient and persistent. If you are successful, however, you and your spouse may be pleasantly surprised at how quick and effective the mediation process can be. Working with a skilled and experienced Texas mediator can improve your chances of obtaining a stress-free settlement without the pain and drama of litigation.

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