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Mediation Tools for Family Success

Gene Kirzhner Jan. 17, 2017

A divorce can rip a family apart. The process often leads to bitter fighting between spouses. The issues of dividing assets and splitting custody of children produce a lot of hostility. And the goal of one or more of the parties involved is often to simply punish the spouse they are splitting from. This is where the power of mediation tools comes in.

If you feel that divorce is the best or only option for your family and you want to avoid the fighting and negativity that often dominate the process, mediation may be the tool for family success that you are looking for.

Mediation cannot prevent a divorce from happening. But it can help to keep a divorce from leaving bridges burned and relationships in ruins. Many families pursue mediation as opposed to the divorce courts because they know how much is at stake and how long the fallout from an acrimonious divorce can impact everyone involved. Here are some of the ways that mediation can preserve family success even after the then end of marriage.

Mediation Tools: Avoid the Stress of Divorce Courts

The stress of the traditional divorce courts often has the unintended effect of making the issues that led to the divorce even worse. Working through the courts is a time-consuming process, which only gives both parties more time to stew in their resentment. It is also expensive, which means that going through a divorce creates an unwelcome financial strain. Finally, the process is inherently combative, which only encourages both parties to fight more bitterly. Since mediation is a way to expedite the divorce process, it makes it easier for families to move past a very stressful and disruptive time and start focusing on the how they will work together after the divorce is finalized.

Mediation Tools: Get Every Issue on The Table

Due to the nature of divorce courts, it is not always possible for one or both of the parties to get all of their grievances out in the open and discuss their feelings honestly and openly. In fact, the courts often limit how much information can be shared, which tends just to amplify the issues that led to the divorce in the first place. Mediation offers a space for each party to talk in depth and without restrictions. Admittedly, these conversations can get heated at times. But they also tend to be cathartic and revelatory for spouses who have struggled to understand each other wants and needs. Mediation tends to lead to a greater feeling of resolution because parties do not have to hold their feelings back or present them in the narrow framework allowed by the courts.

Mediation Tools: Reach an Amicable Agreement

Contrary to popular opinion, not every marriage ends because the parties hate each other or because a serious betrayal has been committed. In fact, many divorced couples still respect and even like each other, they have simply concluded that they are not ideally suited to be married any longer. When a divorce is simply the logical option, families can turn to mediation to get the important issues resolved without the blame and negativity of the divorce courts. It may not necessarily be a happy or easy process. But mediation tends to be a lot less emotionally bruising than the alternatives. For spouses who intend to carry on as co-parents, business partners, or friends, mediation is the option of choice.

Mediation Tools: Choose Your Own Outcomes

A big reason that mediation leads to more family success is that major decisions are not left up to the whims of a judge. In divorce court, both parties present their argument, and then the judge makes a final ruling on major issues involving property or custody. More often than not, both parties are upset with the judgment. When you rely on mediation, the spouses can pick the mediator, which automatically introduces more civility into the process. Plus, the mediator simply acts as a facilitator. Whatever judgment is reached has to be agreed upon by both parties. If a decision is not right for a child or a family, the parties involved can chart their course. Mediation is the most reliable way to end a marriage in a way that serves everyone’s interests.

It is important to acknowledge that mediation is not the best option for all families. And in some cases, the process can be as negative and contentious as any of the alternatives. But in many more cases, mediation is preferable to divorce courts and helps families survive the stress and strain of divorce. If you feel like this may be the best option for you, or you simply want to learn more about the mediation process.