Caldwell & Kearns, P.C.
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Deciding whether divorce mediation is right for you

We have written on this blog about some of the benefits of using mediation in the divorce process rather than pursuing divorce as an adversarial process. The benefits, as we’ve noted include things like privacy from the public eye, reduced costs, and better collaboration and self-determination for the couple. Although these benefits can be very real, not every couple is suited for mediation.

There are a variety of things that can make a couple not well-suited to mediation. A recent Huffington Post article mentions some of them. For one thing, couples must be willing to cooperate if they expect mediation to be fruitful and, hopefully, successful. Depending on the couple’s history and current manner of communicating and dealing with one another, it may be too much of a challenge to get them to sit down with one another and listen/share respectfully. 

In addition to being willing to communicate respectfully with one another, couples must be willing to be creative and cooperative in coming up with real solutions to their disputes. This can certainly be a challenge when it comes to things like property division and child custody. The more challenging the disagreement, the more important it is for couples to exercise cooperation and creativity in mediation. Not every couple can do this.

Another factor couples have to be comfortable with in divorce mediation is that a mediator will generally not approach solutions in terms of good or bad, right or wrong. Rather, the focus will be on couples using their freedom to come up with mutually satisfactory solutions to any disagreements. For some couples, it can be difficult to deal with disputes in this way.

Couples do need to have self-knowledge and work with a divorce process which suits them. Those who have a willingness to engage these various aspects of divorce mediation, though, have a chance at being successful, especially if they work with an experienced mediation professional.

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