Divorce Mediation: What Matters?
What matters in divorce mediation? I think it must be reiterated that proving you are the “right” party in the conflict will not cause you to be the victor in mediation. Presenting all the evidence in the world how your children’s father or mother is wrong will not sway the mediator. The rules and skills that work in the courtroom do not translate into the divorce mediation conference room. Nobody is on trial here. Your feelings are of course valid and you may communicate them during the mediation. This can be helpful in working towards a resolution.
What I try to do from my neutral point of view, it to identify the realm of possibility during a divorce mediation. This means I identify the boundaries of each side and how far or how close they are willing to go in order to get to an agreement. Surprisingly, in many situations, the parties are much closer than they appear. In the beginning they may try to showcase a hardened position to protect their interests but a good mediator will be able to identify common interests rather quickly.
Major factors that can assist the parties into finding that common ground are what they both want to avoid. The biggie is a costly trial with expensive attorneys. I find this the number one reason my clients come to me for painless virtual divorce mediation. They truly want to move on in a way that salvages their bank accounts, sanity and time. Not to mention the convenience is a no-brainer.
Another huge factor that brings the parties together is fear of the unknown. With divorce mediation they can decide for themselves with a legally enforceable agreement how the details of their lives will play out. With a Judge both sides will never know what might happen. It is a complete guessing game. Do the parties really want to take that risk?
These reasons-more than the details may have greater weight in whether or not the parties settle in their divorce mediation. A skilled mediator will be able to identify this and also to help the parties think outside of the box in terms of what they “want” and what they “need” helping the parties forge alternative outcomes that everybody can agree on. Please contact divorceharmony.com to learn more. Another great resource to learn about mediation is: mediate.com