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Does a high asset divorce have to be messy?

The recent news of Jeff Bezos and his longtime wife, Mackenzie, splitting up has many people assuming there will be a long court battle. But Bloomberg reports the former pair plans to part “as friends.”

The Amazon founder has a net worth of $137 billion. After the divorce is final, Mackenzie may be the world’s richest woman. With that kind of money, experts point out he can afford to be generous. A generous settlement often means individuals with significant assets can reach a divorce settlement quicker.

Avoiding the courtroom is another way to speed up a divorce. One way for divorcing couples to avoid the courtroom is through mediation.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution. During mediation, a former couple meets with a neutral third party known as the mediator. Each spouse can be represented by an attorney at mediation. At the initial meeting, you and your former partner each explain the issues that need to be settled, and each get to tell your side of the story.

Helps you communicate better

The mediator does not provide solutions to any of your problems, but does facilitate discussion between you and your soon-to-be ex. A mediator may ask questions to clarify communication between the two of you. He or she also pushes you to brainstorm solutions and work together to reach compromises. If you and your former partner start to argue, the mediator also redirects the conversation back to the topic.

One of a mediator’s goals is to teach a former couple how to communicate better. This will serve you well in the future, if you share children that you will continue to co-parent.

Gives you control over decisions

Unlike going to court, divorce mediation allows you and your ex to make decisions regarding property division and child custody. That keeps these important decisions out of the hands of judge who does not know either of you.

Keeps details private

Mediation is also confidential. When a divorce is settled in court, the details of the settlement become a matter of public record. When you work with a mediator, you and your ex can keep these financial and personal matters private.

Quicker than litigation

Working with a mediator also typically takes less time. The average divorce mediation lasts for about three to four mediation sessions, which are spread out over one or two months. Since a mediation takes much less time than going to court, it also typically costs much less.

People with significant wealth may find mediation is the right solution because it keeps a divorce confidential, settles it faster, leaves important decisions in their hands and typically costs less. Even for those without a large income, mediation provides a good alternative to the courtroom.

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