Divorce Via Mediation, Five Key Considerations – An Overview

Mediation allows couples to resolve their divorce without stepping foot in court. The first step in initiating an out of court mediation is hiring a mediator. A mediator acts as a neutral divorce project manager, and will:

  • Collect information about the couple and meet with them to determine the nature and areas of dispute;
  • Manage the schedule to help the couple to stay organized and focused;
  • Assist with the identification, hiring and management of necessary experts;
  • Help the couple to find a mutually acceptable resolution to all issues;
  • Draft necessary documents;

How can a couple decide whether mediation is appropriate for them? I suggest that they measure mediation against the following five key considerations:

  • Communication;
  • Budget;
  • Expertise;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Children;

Mediation utilizes communication between the divorcing couple as a tool to help with the divorce process.  Mediation does not require that both spouses be good communicators.  Instead it offers people the coaching, guidance and expertise to make communication an asset in their divorce rather than a detriment.  The result is less expensive divorce with better outcomes.

From a budget perspective, mediation is the least expensive option there is. One  reason for this is mediation is a scalable process that is tailored to fit each couples budget and needs. For example, spouses can choose not to use attorneys or can consult with attorneys on a limited basis.  Because mediation is a cost effective option, it also makes it more affordable for people to utilize financial experts to help them make a smoother transition into a post-divorce life.  And, if experts are needed, they can be shared by the couple, saving a lot of money and securing a better divorce outcome.

Mediation is a fully confidential process. Anything said and disclosed during the mediation cannot be disclosed by the mediator to outside persons.  Mediation also provides people with a safe process to effectively discuss confidential issues and their resulting emotions.  No matter the past conduct of either spouse, the mediator remains neutral. 

Children benefit tremendously from parents who use mediation.  Science tells us that the long term conflicts arising out of divorce can cause lifelong physical and mental health problems for children.  Mediation provides parents with an avenue to diffuse the conflict inherent in divorce. It does this by focusing on resolving conflict through mutually acceptable resolutions, which are far more likely to end conflict than to inflame it.  The focus of mediation is on transitioning the parents into a co-parenting role after the divorce so that they can address future family issues without needing the help of attorneys or courts.   

Mediation isn’t for everyone. There cannot be any actual or threatened abuse between the couple.   Mediation also requires that the spouses are able to agree upfront to use mediation.  Those who can meet these two criteria will have an opportunity to utilize a divorce process tailored to fit their needs at a fraction of the cost of other divorce processes.

Cleland Collaborative Solutions offers a FREE one-hour consultation to take you through the options, the benefits, and effects of all paths to provide you with the information you need to make a smart decision about divorce. For full details please call (586) 876-9165