WHY DIVORCE MEDIATION WORKS
Divorce Mediation: Why it WorksDivorce mediation works because it provides Perspective, Creativity, and a Level Playing Field.
Perspective:Divorce Mediation involves each person sharing their issues, concerns, and perspectives with one another and an experienced mediator, in a safe environment. The mediator helps the parties work together to create a solution that respects both of their perspectives, to the greatest degree possible
Creativity:Our mediators bring to the table experience from hundreds of prior divorces. With that experience, we have seen dozens of options for resolving nearly every situation imaginable. This allows us to brainstorm options to resolve conflicts that the couple might otherwise think are non-resolvable.
In addition, we as mediators are able to direct you to sources that can help solve many of the difficult issues which periodically arise in divorces, such as experts on tax, finance, mortgages, appraisals, and so forth, if YOU feel it would be beneficial to have their input. This allows you to access the information you need today, to make decisions that will affect the rest of your lives.
Level Playing Field:This is probably the most overlooked, but critically important, area of mediation. There is an extreme amount of anxiety and possible mistrust that is generated at the time of a divorce. Making sure that neither spouse overpowers the other with emotional or financial control is critical.
Good mediators are able to ascertain each person’s underlying interests, versus their positions, and address those interests while keeping the playing field level.
No one wants or likes to be taken advantage of. It is a mediator’s responsibility to help make sure both parties are fair and equitable with the other. Having a good mediator helps ensure this occurs.
We like to know about the children. What ages they are, what activities are they involved in, have they been informed about the impending divorce? With the questions that are asked, we are better able to be of service in each area you need to address. For example, if we find that one of the children has a learning disability, we are better able to address that issue in the parenting plan and make sure that those needs are considered and accommodations provided.
We are acutely aware of body language. We intently listen to and watch verbal and non-verbal clues that may need to be brought out and addressed. For instance, if we are discussing alimony, we will watch and listen closely to each party to determine the level of willingness or unwillingness to address the issue. Perhaps there appears to be no resistance on the part of the husband to paying alimony, but when an amount is mentioned that exceeds his expectations, he may be hesitant to verbalize his feelings, for fear of polarizing his wife. He might then become fidgety and say "I don’t know how I can even pay rent now.”
At that point, we will often call a caucus. This is where we ask for a short break to visit with each spouse individually. This is a time when we can further discuss your options and clarify each party's expectations, fears, and what might be practical and realistic. The mediator has the ability to handle all the aspects and dynamics of a mediation session.
-Written by Master Mediators of The Divorce Mediation Institute of Utah