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Resolving Louisiana divorce issues through family mediation

Third parties are used frequently to settle disputes of every kind. Many Baton Rouge residents might not be aware family mediation is an alternative to court battles over divorce issues. Qualified Louisiana mediators are more than referees in conflicts over child-related matters and property settlements.

Helping to solve problems isn't the same as supplying answers. Mediators are impartial, although they may provide information, opinions or suggestions to help parties reach agreements. The largest part of a mediator's job is to get individuals to communicate, negotiate and work out their own problems.

The parties, not the mediator, decide whether cooperation or a settlement is possible. Sometimes, family mediation is court-ordered and other times it's a choice. In either case, mediation offers several advantages.

Court battles are costly, public and often emotionally draining. Mediation sessions are confidential and may be conducted with or without a lawyer's guidance or presence. Attorneys explain how to prepare for mediation and how the process works, represent your best interests inside and outside sessions and pursue satisfactory outcomes.

Parties must understand the requirements and rules for mediation and define problems to be addressed. It may be necessary to deal with hard feelings and misunderstandings on both sides before getting down to the central issue of conflict. It's also wise to recognize common ground instead of focusing exclusively on areas of disagreement.

Parties should come to the table with a flexible objective. An agreement is more likely to be forged through compromise than one party's insistence upon fulfilling all personal goals. Individuals also must consider long-term effects of an agreement, particularly when children are involved, and think about consequences if mediation is unsuccessful.

Mediation provides a way to explore options and find answers, whether disputes are over parenting plans or other family law matters. Most spouses and parents would rather resolve problems than have a judge make decisions for them.

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