In previous posts, we’ve talked about different ways to structure divorce mediation based on various factors. Some of these factors include complicated financial scenarios, family home issues, and child custody disputes. Potential power imbalances or high degrees of conflict between divorcing spouses are also important concerns. Over the next few months, we will introduce three couples, each of whom is dealing with one or more of these issues. Their stories are fictional, but the couples possess multiple characteristics of actual clients. If you have some things in common with any of these couples, you may be able to use their experiences as a blueprint for how to move forward with mediation in your own divorce. Read more
Mediation can be highly effective for resolving issues in divorce, and it’s also a great option for addressing post-divorce issues. Fortunately, couples who use mediation to negotiate Marital Settlement Agreements (MSA’s) tend to have few post-divorce disagreements. Those who receive orders after contentious court procedures may be more likely to continue to fight over those orders. Whether you originally participated in divorce mediation or not, however, you are free to go to a mediator to resolve any post-divorce disagreements. Such disagreements tend to concern isolated matters which can be resolved in one or two mediation sessions, presenting a much cheaper and less stressful alternative to court. Read more
If you have done any online research for answers to your questions about private mediation, chances are you have come across a great deal of conflicting information. To clear the air, here’s a rundown of the seven most popular “myths” about divorce and family law mediation and the fact about what this out-of-court settlement process really entails.
Parenting Mediation for Custody and Visitation Disputes
For many parents, making decisions about child custody and parenting can be the toughest part of a separation or divorce. Some divorcing parents also have to deal with multiple financial issues, such as spousal support or division of marital property. Others can resolve such matters fairly simply. Parents who have never been married generally have the easiest time separating financially. Regardless of these differences, however, the emotional aspects of physically dividing a family into two can be devastating. Parenting mediation can be a great forum for parents to air concerns and resolve anxieties while working together to build a successful post-relationship parenting plan. Read more
One of the biggest benefits of divorce mediation is that the process helps separating couples create their own solutions rather than simply abiding by the decisions of a judge. This flexibility can be a boon when resolving many common divorce issues, including the issue of what to do with a family home. Mediation participants trying to make difficult decisions can explore multiple options and maintain control over eventual outcomes. Read more
In our two most recent posts, we addressed certain safeguards that may improve mediation’s effectiveness when there is a higher than average level of conflict between participants, including considering a structured mediation process, and taking advantage of pre-mediation coaching. Today we will look at another common aspect of high-conflict divorce mediation: the existence of “power imbalances.” How do power imbalances tend to show up in divorce mediation, and what can mediation participants expect from a mediator in terms of safeguarding against the possibility that a power imbalance might sabotage a potentially successful mediation? Read more
In our most recent post, we discussed how some divorcing couples might want to take advantage of a more structured mediation process. We mentioned pre-mediation coaching as one aspect of such a process. So what exactly is pre-mediation coaching, who offers it, and who might possibly benefit from it?
What is Pre-Mediation Coaching?
In pre-mediation coaching, a prospective mediation participant meets with the mediator or another professional to prepare for the mediation. The main goals of the preparation are alleviating anxiety regarding the mediation process, rehearsing good communication techniques, and building comfort with the idea of formulating proposals and counter-proposals. Role-playing with a coach can help the participant prepare for issues that may arise during the mediation and practice skills that will help the participant stay on track. These skills include not taking the other party’s positions personally, slowing down and responding logically, and maintaining a focus on the facts and issues at hand. Read more
Have you been considering divorce mediation for a while, but you just aren’t convinced that you and your difficult soon-to-be-ex would make good candidates? Attorneys and judges don’t always recommend mediation for couples who have experienced high levels of relationship conflict. There is a risk that one or both spouses will not approach the process with a collaborative attitude, and will instead refuse to compromise on anything, or worse, will just use the mediation sessions to vent anger and frustration. Read more
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