Q: What are the benefits of using mediation instead of the court system to resolve divorce disputes?
A: In North Dakota, if your divorce involves minor children, you are required to attend and participate in the Family Law Mediation program, which provides divorcing couples with 6 free hours of mediation services. If the divorce does not involve minor children, you do not receive a referral to mediation, but you still can greatly benefit from engaging in mediation. Mediation will cost you the time/services of the mediator (and likely of your attorney), but it can be less costly than engaging in lengthy, protracted litigation through the Court and taking the matter to trial.
With mediation, while you would likely have to make compromises in order to get an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse done, you still have a measure of control over the outcome and over the process. You can craft provisions of your agreement which the Court may overlook but which may be important to you.
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