Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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How to decide if divorce mediation is the right choice

People in Georgia who are going through a divorce might wonder whether they should use mediation to try to reach a divorce settlement. While mediation may be helpful in many circumstances, it is not the right choice for some couples.

A couple must be committed to work together to find a solution that will suit both of them for mediation to work. This does not mean that couples cannot work through conflict. However, they both must be willing to do that work. If one person is determined that one should be the winner and the other the loser, or if one person is bent on revenge, mediation is unlikely to work.

It is also important in mediation that people can advocate for themselves. In an effort to get the process over with quickly, because of guilt about the divorce or as a result of unhealthy relationship patterns, one person might agree to unreasonable plans for property division, child custody or some other element of the divorce. If the relationship is one in which there has been physical or emotional abuse, mediation is likely to be unsuitable.

Mediation is usually not quick, but it is generally cheaper than litigation. Furthermore, if a couple can find a way to work together, they may be happier with the outcome of mediation compared to litigation.

Reaching an agreement about child custody may be difficult even in mediation. The issue is so emotional that parents may have a hard time focusing on the best interests of the child. However, research shows that in most situations, children benefit from spending time with both parents. Therefore, even if parents disagree about one another's lifestyle or other issues, children may do best with an arrangement that allows them to spend ample time with each parent. This arrangement might be agreed upon in mediation.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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