More and more people are talking about divorce mediation these days. This process has helped many couples no matter the age get through this troublesome, painful and often expensive process easily. When compared to litigation we are most familiar with, divorce mediation can save you a lot of time, money and tears and help keep the relationship between the two parties as healthy as possible.
But no matter how many people talk about meditation in nothing but superlatives, even the best professional divorce mediators are still faced with a lot of myths and misconceptions. One of the most common ones is that it only works for people who mutually decided to get a divorce, family layers can make the whole process easy and fast so you don’t have to go through all those legal steps and are on speaking terms.
Not only is this wrong, it completely undermines the purpose of divorce mediation and how it can help even the fiercest cases. Divorce mediation works because it can even help couples who don’t necessarily see eye to eye reach a compromise.
In fact, the reason why couples even consider divorce mediation is to help former couples who can’t reach a common ground to solve their disputes. If there are no disputes in the first place, there’s no need for mediation.
Litigation Can Make Matters Worse
You know the old saying: “All is fair in love and war”. And nothing proves it better than a divorce litigation. Divorce is antagonistic by nature, as it involves a lot of stress, a lot of negative emotions and financial issues. And if the divorce is a result of infidelity, casting blame is no stranger.
Although litigation is the traditional way of settling a divorce, it can worsen the tensions between the former couple and literally bring out the worst in them.
The main problem here is that litigation assumes the parties are at war, to begin with. By dealing with concepts such as “winning side” and “losing side” litigation often makes former spouses play dirty and throw insults and blame around in order to “win” the divorce. This often prevents parties from working towards a common goal and mutual interest.
Apart from that, litigation takes painfully long, sometimes even several years of bitter arguments before the process is complete. This prevents the couple from finding closure and prolongs all the negative emotions.
Finally, litigation can be very expensive. As it drags on, so do the costs increase and with all the money spent, the former couple will surely blame each other for the piling costs.
How Mediation Helps Couples at War
On the other hand, divorce mediation can help ease the pressure during the process and save you a lot of time and money as it helps to reach the desired results much faster.
Unlike litigation, mediation allows both parties to put their concerns on the table in a casual setting in the company of a neutral mediator. Mediation does not encourage adversity but is based on creating a relaxing, informal atmosphere.
Unlike the judge, the mediator cannot legally force the couple to do anything, so the concepts of winning and losing are not present in the discussion.
Finally, with the help of a mediator, the separation agreement will contain the points both parties agreed on, making either one less likely to feel wronged. It’s all about compromise.
The Role of a Divorce Mediator
Finding an experienced and reliable mediator is the first step towards a successful process. A knowledgeable mediator will help the warring parties reach an agreement and help them find a solution that steers them away from casting blame and escalating tensions.
An experienced mediator will help the former couple stay focused, calm and reasonable while handling the often sensitive issues.
How to Find the Right Divorce Mediator
In order to successfully diffuse the tension between the former couple, the mediator should possess superior communication skills. A good mediator knows how to listen to both sides, and help each side understand the points the other side presents. They should be also well-versed in divorce law and be able to explain in terms the couple can understand.
But knowledge of the law is not always as important as experience in working with quarreling couples. After all, they should be the bridge that connects the two sides, and that often takes a lot of compassion, understanding and people skills.
Finally, the mediator should stay neutral throughout the process and encourage both sides to communicate. Mediation should never be one-sided, and it is the mediators’ task to ensure this.