JULY 27, 2018

Separation & Divorce Mediation

Category: Mediation

Separation and Divorce can be one of the most difficult times that anyone can ever go through. It’s been said that it’s like a death. It’s experiencing the loss of a relationship and regardless of who made that decision and how it came about it is difficult none the less and requires some healing on the part of both parties.

One of the things that can be done to reduce the amount of anxiety and the cost involved, as well as the impact on children, is participating in mediation for the purposes of working out a separation agreement. This does not have to be a high conflict kind of process. It is facilitated by someone who has the expertise, the desire, and the know-how to bring both parties to the table and help them find common ground on the typical issues in a separation. Those include things like support payments, property division, parenting plans for the children, etc. The children’s best interests should be protected to the highest degree during the process.

One of the benefits of the process is that the mediator is a facilitator, and uses his or her expertise to help both parties arrive at win-win resolutions. A good mediator will do this efficiently, fairly, and impartially. The mediator does not get to make decisions, make judgements, or push people in one direction or another.

“I want to waste time, money, and destroy relationships.”
– Said No One Ever

What tends to happen, is that parents especially, tend to arrive at the end of mediation much more in line with one another and much closer together than they were at the start. That’s not always the case with the alternative. If you have a court battle, or if you just let status quo remain, what tends to happen is that conflict exacerbates, and it isn’t helpful, and the children tend to not be served by that process.

In my practice I see very different cases. I see amicable couples or individuals come in who need help brainstorming a decision, or figuring out how to formalize their decision into an agreement, etc., and I also see very high conflict cases where the individuals cannot be in the same room. In those high conflict cases, communication has often broken down or there is a very difficult atmosphere between those people. Invariably what I see is that with mediation there is a gradual assent towards a place of common ground and towards a win-win resolution that can then be formalized into an agreement.

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