Many divorces are filled with conflict. Even those that start relatively peacefully can get knotty before long as issues come to light or as each person changes.
Mediation is one avenue that divorcing couples use to help resolve problems and to make compromises. It also has several advantages compared with trying to work matters out yourself or going to court.
It is neutral
Mediation is neutral in that the mediator is a third party with no vested interest in the outcome of discussions. On the other hand, if you and your spouse tried to work things out alone (or with someone close to you), there would be no one with enough distance to see the situation neutrally and helpfully. Plus, an outside perspective means the possibility of solutions you may not have thought of.
Mediation is neutral no matter the topic(s) at hand, including child custody, parenting plans, property distribution, taxes or retirement.
It is collaborative
By agreeing to a mediator, both parties acknowledge that they want to take a collaborative rather than adversarial approach to their divorce (which can make even more of a difference if children are in the picture). You are much more likely to get an outcome that satisfies you. Meanwhile, if you decided to take your case to court, the judge could make a biased and unfair ruling. One benefit of this collaborative approach is that meditation tends to cost less and is less stressful than going to court.
It sets a pattern
If you have children, turning to meditation can set a valuable precedent in your relationship with your co-parent. You show each other and your children that you are committed to resolving matters fairly and honestly. Moreover, the negotiation and compromise approaches you learn in mediation should serve you well in the long term.
If you want to solve your divorce problems calmly, get in touch with an attorney. He or she can recommend mediators and act as your advocate through the overall divorce process.