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How can I be sure my mediated divorce settlement is adequate?

There can be some distinct advantages to trying to resolve the matters related to your divorce through means other than litigation. There are a lot of different methods for doing this.

Collaborative divorce tends to be a good choice if your spouse and you are largely in agreement about how you want the various issues to be resolved. Where there is agreement, emotional tension is usually at a minimum. That typically means that costly litigation can be avoided. But the collaborative process does not mean you give up your right to have the divorce litigated. If issues do crop up prior to finalizing things, the door remains open to going to court.

Another means of working through a divorce without litigation is by working with a mediator. As with collaborative divorce, costs can be lower. And, as many experts in the family law field know, almost all divorces in certain states wind up being resolved through mediation anyway. So those experts suggest going with mediation to begin with.

But the recommendation doesn't come without certain cautions. For example, the experts stress you should choose your mediator with care, based on record and experience. You shouldn't feel pressed to sign off on any settlement at the first mediation session. Rather, the experts recommend taking a few days to look over the paperwork.

In some cases, it might be a good idea to work through the document with your own lawyer. Getting a second opinion from an experienced attorney can assure you that your interests are covered. The second set of eyes also helps reduce the chance that human error results in a flaw in the settlement that forces you to go to court later to get things corrected.

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