WHAT IS DIVORCE MEDIATION?
Divorce mediation offers a method of finding solutions to issues such as child custody, spousal support, parental visitation arrangements, and financial distribution of assets. Divorce mediation is an alternative to the formal processes typical of divorce with the interest of preserving the family’s wealth and maintaining as cordial a relationship as possible among the parties involved. Through mediation, both parties and their attorneys can use professionals as a mediator and an objective third-party that can assist the parties in negotiating a resolution to their divorce in a more amicable and fiscally beneficial manner when compared to traditional divorce.
Parties have the opportunity to discuss their challenges, mitigate disagreements, and arrive at a mutual agreement; mediation is fair to all concerned. Therapeutic professionals can be substantial assets of those experiencing divorce, as solutions can be offered by an intermediary who is not emotionally invested in the outcome.
Mediation is a confidential process that avoids lengthy and emotionally exhausting litigation, saves money on attorney fees, and reduces the stages those engaged in the divorce process typically have to experience.
One misconception of the courtroom is that destruction is an acceptable means to get what you need.
A GREATER COMFORT LEVEL
Many couples experiencing the divorce process find a greater comfort level with the idea of psychologists as mediators in the divorce context. While a legal divorce is an event, occurring when a judge signs a marital dissolution decree, an emotional divorce is best viewed as a process that occurs minimally over several years and maximally over the course of a lifetime.
There is a need for accurate empathy, validation and a respectful, appropriately paced process for coming to terms with loss. While attorneys are familiar with the types of loss recognized in law – e.g., financial, reputational, market share – a psychologist mediator may more easily recognize that the parties involved may have lost certain hopes and dreams, aspects of their relationships, and meaningful parts of their identity. Beginning to come to terms with loss is an essential precondition for settling litigation or, indeed, to reaching a compromise in any dispute.
Psychologists are experts in helping people find meaning and dignity in their experience so that they can come to terms with loss.