• Allison Roberts

What is Divorce Mediation?

For many people, mediation is a much-promoted and viable alternative to traditional divorce. It is becoming more popular as the courts transition to a new normal after the delay and systemic upheaval caused by the pandemic. Yet you may still be asking, so what exactly is mediation?

Mediation as Empowerment

Mediation is a process by which the parties come to a resolution with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator. The mediator does not tell the parties who is right or what is right, they facilitate the exchange of options, identify priorities and discuss the solutions with a knowledge of what the law requires or disallows.

Mediation, at its best, empowers the parties to find a resolution, understanding there will be disagreement and embracing that there must be a compromise. Every mediation is grounded in this truth: there is a solution to every conflict. The mediator will remind you that the mediation itself is an opportunity and that each decision arrived at is an option to control the ending of your marriage.

It is said that no Judge will ever tell you what you want to hear, that there is rarely, if ever, vindication through the court process, and that allowing a legal expert in a black robe to make the decisions for your family is not necessarily the best option. While there are certain issues that require a definitive, court-ordered answer, those truly are limited cases.

Is Mediation a Good Option for You?

Here are three important questions to ask yourself when deciding if mediation is an option for your divorce:

  1. Do I trust that I know what I need to know to make a decision and if not, do I trust that there will be an honest exchange of information?

  2. Am I willing to let go of the emotions that got us here and focus on the information?

  3. Am I ready to make the choice to move forward?

I have participated in mediation for years as an attorney, advocating for my client’s settlement position while the mediator helps focus the parties (and the attorneys) on the pros and cons of the options and ideas exchanged. This week I completed the 40-hour mediation training program required before becoming a court-approved mediator. I am excited to offer my experience and my skills as a mediator to empower couples to reach their settlement.

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