How to Handle a Divorce



Marriage is one of the oldest and most universal institutions around the world, primarily designed to create a man-woman reproducing household. This is certainly still true today, and some parts of the world have also recognized same-sex marriages as well. Same-sex households often adopt children in a nurturing environment. However, it is also common for a marriage to come to a legal end, known as divorce. Today in the United States, divorce rates have become higher than ever, close to 40-50% or so. There are a number of reasons why a spouse may file for a divorce, and they may hire divorce mediation services to make this process smoother and easier. Divorces with relatively few assets or conflicts involved may not call for divorce attorneys or a court, and there are in fact some reasons why mediating a divorce may be preferable to going through a court. Family mediation services and mediating a family breakup may make this unpleasant process smoother and more productive for the benefit of everyone involved, and mediating a divorce may in fact be a fairly private affair. When is it time for mediating a divorce?

Why Divorce Happens

Every relationship and household is different, but plenty of trends and studies are done to track how Americans get engaged, create households, and get divorced and dissolve those households. In the case of divorce, a number of fairly common reasons have been determined, with infidelity being chief among them. This is when one spouse is unfaithful to the other, and this may have a devastating emotional impact and shatter trust and respect between the spouses. Studies show that both men and women commit infidelity, but not always for the same reasons. When one partner starts seeing someone else and is caught, the emotional trauma may very well prompt the other spouse to seek couples mediation or divorce mediation services at the very least.

Major reasons for divorce may require divorce lawyers, such as if one spouse is violent toward other members of the household or if a spouse is abusing drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse often causes a spouse to change their personality, become abusive, and/or lose their job or money due to funding that habit. Violence or substance abuse may even prompt the other spouse to relocate somewhere private and safe, and take the household’s children with them.

Not all divorces are so dramatic, however. Some marriages end simply because the two spouses realize that they have too little personal compatibility, or if their lifestyles and spending habits are very different. Studies suggest that two people who date for three or more years before their engagement are much less likely to divorce than two people who hastily got engaged.

Mediating a Divorce

While a divorce that involves violence or drugs and alcohol may certainly call for divorce lawyers, and a divorcing household with children may call for child custody lawyers and a court case, simpler cases call for mediating a divorce instead. In fact, in some ways, mediating a divorce is much preferable to hiring divorce lawyers and handling everything through a divorce court. Why is this? For one thing, hiring divorce attorneys and going through the court system may be costly, and take a lot of time and the entire affair may be public for anyone to see. Not that divorce lawyers or court are a waste of money; indeed, sometimes they are the only option. But in other cases, such as a relatively simple divorce, those lawyers and courts are more money and trouble than is necessary.

Instead, it is faster, more private, and much less expensive to hire services for mediating a divorce. What might this entail, and when? A mediator is a neutral third party who encourages each spouse in a simple divorce to offer productive and fair ideas for handling the divorce, such as dividing assets or deciding who will live where. These mediators help draw out good ideas from each party to make the divorce smoother and more fair, but the mediators won’t actually offer their own ideas or suggestions unless asked. If a marriage doesn’t involve anything major such as children, a large house, or a privately owned business, a mediator’s services may be affordable, private, and convenient.

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