When your marriage is coming to an end, emotions run high. Often there are children, property, debt, and assets that need to be sorted.
With a traditional divorce, tensions can sometimes escalate, communication can break down, and conflict causes nearly constant stress.
This is the route taken by many couples whose marriages are dissolving. However, there is another, more amicable way.
Mediation may be an option for couples who are looking for a way to resolve the disagreements and disputes they are struggling with as their marriage comes to a close.
Ending a marriage does not have to be the adversarial process it often becomes.
Three Types of Divorce Mediation and Their Benefits
“Mediation is a great dispute resolution tool that can help to guide you and your spouse to mutually-agreeable decisions in your divorce,” note Los Angeles mediation attorneys at Fernandez & Karney, “When you decide to use the mediation process, a trained mediator will help you and your spouse get to the root of the issues in your dispute and guide you to a resolution.”
There are three standard types of mediation. Mediators may choose to adhere to one model or to combine the methods to reach the best outcome.
This style of mediation emphasizes active involvement in deciding the issues that will have the greatest impact on the couple’s lives.
Communication is a key component when resolving issues surrounding the divorce settlement. Mediators may suggest options while refraining from offering their options about the fairness of the agreements being discussed.
The divorcing couple will work with the mediator together rather than individually in a facilitative mediation. Whether the agreement is fair and just is up to the couple to decide, rather than having these matters handled by the court.
As the name suggests, transformative mediation focuses on transforming the interactions between partners.
This type of mediation focuses on clearing emotionally charged issues and learning to communicate with each other in a healthy, effective manner.
While settlements happen in a transformative mediation, it is not the primary focus.
Each partner is recognized while their feelings, thoughts, and suggestions are given equal merit throughout the proceedings.
Transformative mediation seeks to alter the interactions the partners have with one another in a positive, empowering way. Positive changes can happen that will last long after the conflicts have been resolved.
Evaluative mediation is focused on settlements. To resolve the divorce, they may meet with each partner separately, determining their position on essential matters.
Once each partner’s position is confirmed, the mediator may meet with both partners at the same time. Legal and financial matters and how they can be settled satisfactorily are typically the purpose of evaluative mediation.
Reasons to Consider Divorce Mediation
While the three types of divorce mediation exist, they can be used alone or in combination. Couples entered into mediation voluntarily, and the proceedings remain confidential.
The couple has the opportunity to settle their disagreements amicably and is aided in navigating what could otherwise be an antagonistic process.
Listed below are some of the topics worked out through mediation:
- Division of assets
- Spousal support
- Child custody and visitation agreements
- Child support
- Division of debts
What is a Divorce Mediator?
Divorce mediators help couples determine the issues that need to be addressed while helping them communicate and eventually resolve these issues.
Partners may have their attorneys present during the mediation process, or they can seek advice from them between sessions.
Typically, a divorce mediator will guide the process and help the partners reach a settlement agreement that is fair to each of them.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
Couples have more say so and control over what happens during the divorce when divorce mediation is used.
Some of the advantages of divorce mediation are as follows:
- Promotes self-respect and respect for their former partner
- Safeguards relationships within the family
- Provides a basis for co-parenting successfully moving forward
- Children are shielded from animosity and ongoing conflict
- There is a shift in focus on matters that concern the here and now and the future rather than dredging up the past and behaving punitively with each other.
- When agreements are made jointly, the commitment to keep them is fortified.
- Personal matters remain private.
- The cost of the divorce is more manageable.
- Emotionally, divorce mediation is more cathartic and allows each individual a chance to stand on equal ground and be heard.
- The divorcing couple is able to avoid negative tax ramifications by working with a mediator.
While divorce is challenging and painful, no matter what route you take to get there, with mediation, the couple is more likely to come to an agreeable, peaceful resolution.
Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?
If the time has come to end your marriage, considering divorce mediation may allow both of you a kinder, gentler way to resolve the matters you are struggling with.
For help navigating the process, contact an experienced mediator or legal professional for more information.