Caldwell & Kearns, P.C.
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Different approaches to divorce mediation have strengths, weaknesses, P.2

This will be our final post in a series dealing with various approaches of mediation. As we’ve mentioned, each of the forms of mediation we’ve discussed have their benefits and potential limitations. We’ve already discussed facilitative mediation in this regard.

Moving on, mediation which focuses on the legal aspects of a divorce dispute is valuable in that it can help parties to make decisions about what matters to them. This is especially the case for a party whose position in the dispute is not well supported by the law. For instance, a party who is demanding more assets than they are likely entitled to in property division, once provided a legal understanding of his or her position, is able to be more realistic in his or her demands and focus on what property matters most to him or her and what he or she is likely going to be entitled to under the law.  Likewise, the evaluative approach can also help a party to recognize where he or she has more leverage in the dispute. 

Although transformative mediation is arguably the least common of the three mediation approaches we’ve discussed, it is an approach which has its place in resolving divorce disputes. Because transformative mediation is less goal-focused and focuses more on finding ways to help empower parties to make decisions that matter to them, it has the drawback of potentially slowing down the process of reaching an agreement. On the other hand, this is sometimes necessary, or at least helpful, in helping couples who are at an impasse to work through the complex issues that affect their ability to reach an agreement. This can especially be true when it comes to the issue of empowerment in the relationship.  

The bottom line here is that couples looking to use mediation as a way to resolve disputes in divorce can benefit from aspects of each mediation approach. Working with an attorney who has a strong foundation of experience in facilitative mediation is critical, but other approaches to mediation certainly have their place.  

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