How is a mediated divorce different from a contested divorce?

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Many clients ask me what the difference is between a mediated divorce and a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, there is no agreement. While there may be parts of an agreement, there is usually financial disagreement and disputes. In order to resolve that issue, it will ultimately go to the trial judge, who will decide all financial matters.

A contested divorce may also involve contested issues regarding custody and parenting. Even if your divorce starts out as a litigated, contested divorce, that doesn’t foreclose the ability to reach an agreement. In fact, the great majority of divorce cases do resolve themselves with an agreement. Once an agreement is achieved, you will proceed in the case as an uncontested divorce before the judge. The judge will review the separation agreement that is prepared by the attorney at that point in time. Finding that it is fair and equitable and if in the best interest of the children, you will have an uncontested hearing and final resolution of your matter. The difference between the contested divorce and the mediated divorce is this: In a mediated divorce, initially, you are sitting down with your mediator – the facilitator – to help you communicate and negotiate a settlement. In all likelihood, in a mediation divorce, if it is successful, you will arrive at that agreement sooner, less costly, and with less controversy and adversity. A mediated divorce, successfully implemented, resolves
itself as an uncontested divorce. For more information, call (203) 774 2222.

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