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Mediation works well for most couples going through separation or divorce. While cooperative couples tend to choose mediation more readily, those with high levels of conflict should also consider trying mediation rather than engage in costly (both emotional and financial) litigation.

The following checklist may help you confirm your decision to attempt mediation although it is a guideline only. Mark an "X" by each question which describes your situation.

[__] The grieving process over our separation is ongoing or complete for us both and we can face each other and negotiate with each other.

[__] We do not have a history of high conflict or previous litigation.

[__] We have no history of violence or abuse.

[__] There is no denial of contact (access) with the child(ren).

[__] We both agree to full disclosure of assets, liabilities and income.

[__] We both basically understand that there are various options and consequences about parenting and financial issues.

[__] In the past we have been able to cooperate and solve problems.

[__] We are able and willing to communicate with each other and the mediator in a reasonable and civil fashion.

[__] We both want to settle our dispute.

[__] We have experienced family law lawyers who support mediation.

Adapted from Forest S. Mosten, Mediation: The Cutting Edge Approach to Family Law Practice Chicago, American Bar Association, Section of Family Law, 1997. Pp 43-44.