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Mediation paves way for couples to live together post-divorce

With the recession forcing many Texas families to reconsider their living arrangements, some divorced couples are choosing to stay under one roof for the time being. Separate addresses are more expensive to maintain, of course, and if former partners can manage an amicable split, staying together - at least, residentially - may make sense.

For couples who know they will share a home after their divorce, mediation is an option that can lay the groundwork for getting along. In Texas, mediation typically involves guidance from an expert trained in conflict resolution. Thorny issues can be tackled head-on, but in a manner that is calm, focused, and fair.

According to a new series from MSNBC called "Chained To My Ex," many middle-class Americans' greatest asset is the home in which they live. The depressed housing market, however, has made it nearly impossible for some families to sell their houses, and for some, a roommate situation is preferable to financial damage.

Like selling a home, the decision to file divorce papers requires a certain amount of mental and emotional momentum. If spouses realize they may not be able to literally move on after their split, that momentum can slow and conflict may result. With statistics pointing to more breakups during times of economic strain, it's no surprise that moving forward with a divorce could also mean staying put in a shared home.

Divorce mediation strives to maintain a positive, proactive energy level throughout an inherently difficult process, which means couples who have gone through a mediated divorce will have the tools they'll need to live together afterwards.

Parties to a mediated divorce can still have attorneys present, and the legal advice given is aimed at an outcome that benefits both individuals and their entire family unit. In addition, divorce mediation can be more cost efficient, since less money is needed for drawn-out litigation.

For couples living together as exes, the financial advantages of mediation can be an appropriate complement to the emotional benefits.

Source: MSNBC, "Chained to your ex? How to live together after a divorce." Judge Michele F. Lawrance, Dec. 23, 2012.

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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