Talking About Divorce Mediation With Your Spouse
Divorce Mediation is an alternative to the formal process of a divorce court. A family lawyer who has mediation training is a neutral third party who helps divorcing couples come to an agreement by acting as an intermediary. Unlike going through the adversarial traditional divorce court process (each party appointing their own lawyer), the mediator does not stand to profit from the outcome and cannot force either party to accept a judgement, as happens in the court-room. The lawyer/mediator will highlight the issues, suggest ideas and offer opinions whilst acting only as a negotiator.
Although mediation is not for everyone, the advantage is that it can save both time and money. If you feel that you and your spouse can reach a mutual agreement about such things as division of property & assets, custody & support of your child, then it is certainly worth a try.
Whilst you might agree that mediation is a good idea, you may find that your spouse does not. It is therefore worth considering the following:
- If you both attended marriage counselling and that didn’t work, then your spouse might consider mediation is useless. This doesn’t really make sense as marriage counsellors are trying to save your marriage whilst mediators are trying to reach an agreement about your separation.
- Your spouse may feel that, as you have already contacted a mediator that they are at a disadvantage. This is easily remedied by suggesting that the lawyer/mediator meet separately and privately with your spouse.
- Not all relationships have a ‘balance of power’ and one spouse may feel that they will be over-powered by the other. Rest assured that mediators are trained to be aware of any imbalances and ensure that both parties have an equal voice in proceedings.
- You and your spouse may feel that mediation may be traumatic. To be in the same room could prove too emotional and stressful. If you are worried about this then perhaps you should sit in on a few court cases and watch the litigation process!
Talking to your spouse about mediation may be difficult. Perhaps consider an email – you can double check what you have said before you push ‘send’ and take your time to get it just right. Remember to include some good resources. Time, money and the welfare of your children could be at stake. Remind your spouse that you both need to move forward with dignity and good-will, whatever the circumstances of your separation.
If all fails and litigation is the only way to move forward, you should seek advise from the best divorce lawyer possible to guide you through the road ahead.