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Mediation: How Much Do You Value Your Privacy?

If you're considering divorce, you may be curious about the benefits of mediation. Compared to traditional divorce proceedings, there are many. For starters, mediation is typically more amicable because spouses are working out their disagreements together rather than leaving it to a judge. In addition to that, mediation typically costs less too, which may be a selling future for a lot of people.

But for some divorcing individuals, an amicable resolution at a lower cost is only part of mediation's allure. For many, keeping a divorce out of the public eye for as long as possible is incredibly important, especially in cases where a divorce could affect business dealings or other parts of an individual's life. For these people, this is what makes mediation so much more enticing.

How mediation can help you maintain your privacy

In traditional divorce, couples file a petition for divorce with the court, which then goes on public record, allowing friends and even their neighbors to know about their decision to dissolve their marriage. But while a couple is engaged in divorce mediation, their decision to dissolve their marriage does not immediately get filed with the court and thus does not appear on public records. This allows the couple to keep their divorce a secret until they are ready to let people know.

It isn't until after negotiations are complete and each spouse agrees to the terms of the divorce that their paperwork is filed with the court and their divorce is finally put on public record.

Is it better to seek mediation or request a divorce filed under seal?

Although sealing a divorce record can also help couples maintain their privacy throughout the divorce process, it's important to know that it is up to the judge's discretion whether or not a request to seal a divorce record is accepted. With mediation, you know your divorce record will not appear on public record until after everything has been agreed to. For many, guaranteed privacy makes mediation the far better choice.

Who do you turn to if you want to mediate your divorce?

Because a mediator must remain impartial during mediation proceedings, you cannot rely on them to help you make decisions that are in your best interests - only an experienced family law lawyer will do that. So while it's important to turn to a mediator to help you begin divorce mediation proceedings, only a lawyer can make sure your decisions are informed and give you the best outcome.

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