Using Mediation to Get Divorced in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Divorce Mediator

Working with a professional divorce mediator, you can cooperatively achieve child custody, financial support and property settlement resolutions that both you and your spouse will find agreeable.

Rhode Island divorce mediator, Kerry Rafanelli , has helped clients through the Rhode Island divorce process as an attorney for more than 30 years. He's seen how costly and sometimes counter- productive the legal process can be when people think "winning" is the only goal. The legal volleying back and forth can make the process more time-consuming and costly than it needs to be.

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That's why, for the past 20 years, he has offered his clients mediation as an alternative to the more stressful and potentially combative divorce process. If you'd like to learn more about the benefits of mediation as a method for reaching resolution on issues of property division, spousal and child support, or child custody and visitation, call Mr. Rafanelli to schedule a free consultation: 401-379-4597.

The Mediation Process

While mediation and litigation both arrive at a legal resolution to the issues of custody and divorce, that resolution may be fundamentally different depending on which approach you take.

  • Litigation is focused on swaying the ruling of a judge, whose decision is then imposed on the parties. It's possible that neither party would find the judge's decision satisfactory, even though the "law" says it's fair and reasonable.
  • Mediation is focused on helping the two parties arrive at an agreement that resolves their issues. When parties agree to something, they are usually more satisfied with the outcome and invested in ensuring its success.

Both litigation and mediation are fact-dependent process. You will need all of your financial information: bank accounts and investments, pensions and property valuations. You don't have to go to court to make sure the financial part is handled properly. With the help of a trained and experienced mediator, property division spousal and child support can all be addressed in mediation.

Like a divorce attorney, your divorce mediator understands the requirements of Rhode Island family law. While your mediated property settlement and child custody agreement will be customized to your particular needs and wants, it still must comply with the law. Mr. Rafanelli will ensure it does.

Do You Also Need a Divorce Lawyer?

Some clients use a mediator first to save money while arriving at an agreement, and then hire a lawyer to draft the legal documents and bring the divorce to court. Some people hire divorce lawyers before they come to mediation. If you wish, your attorney can participate in the mediation process with you, or you can participate alone and bring your agreement to your attorney after the mediation session(s) are concluded to be sure your interests have been protected and you understand the document.

Divorce Mediation Isn't Right for Everyone

Mediation has so many advantages that it can often be used even by couples who struggle with anger, blame or other strong emotions. A skillful mediator like Mr. Rafanelli can help you work through those challenges by acknowledging emotional issues without letting them drive the process or diminish the results.

But mediation may not be advisable when there has been domestic abuse, when there are large power differences between the parties, or when one or both parties are more committed to hurting each other than to resolving their issues. To learn more about how mediation works and could benefit you contact Mr. Rafanelli .