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Is mediation a must in Connecticut divorces?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Divorce, Family Law

When couples decide to part ways in Connecticut, they often imagine lengthy courtroom battles, bitter disputes and angry lawyers screaming at each other. But what if there was a less confrontational path?

This is where mediation comes in. While not a mandatory part of the process of divorce in Connecticut, in contrast to other states, which require parties to attend mediation, it is an effective way to solve problems.

What is mediation, anyway?

First, let’s get a basic understanding of what mediation really is. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows parties to come together with a neutral third-party to identify issues and attempt to resolve them using various communication and negotiation techniques.

Mediation is less formal than going to court and it is often much cheaper, which is why many couples choose to mediate their divorces instead of litigating them.

Is a mediator like a judge?

No. Mediators do not decide for the parties. Instead, mediators facilitate the conversation and provide a structure for the individuals to have a constructive exchange of ideas and, hopefully, settle.

So, is mediation mandatory?

In Connecticut, the answer is sometimes. The state encourages couples to work through their issues on their own or with the help of a mediator.

Yet, the courts do not force couples to go through mediation. Sometimes, though, a judge may ask a couple to try mediation to solve a particular issue, if the judge thinks it will be helpful to the parties.

Benefits of mediation

The benefits of mediation are many, which is why it is such a popular way of solving problems nowadays. Specifically, the benefits mediation provides include:

  1. Privacy
  2. Control
  3. Lower costs

In addition, mediation speeds up the process of divorce, especially if the parties can agree. If a couple agrees in mediation, that agreement can become binding if they both agree to it.

The bottom line

In Connecticut, while mediation is not mandatory in divorce courts, some judges may recommend that parties use this resource to solve their disagreements.

While it is not required as part of the divorce proceedings as it is in other states, mediation offers benefits that can benefit everyone in a divorce. Highly skilled mediators undergo training to assist couples in having constructive conversations that result in common agreements.

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