Divorce mediation is more flexible:
- there is no court-ordered schedule to follow
- can be conducted even when the courts are closed (evenings, weekends, holidays)
- more creative and flexible options and solutions available
- permits discussion of subjects and feelings not ordinarily permitted in litigation
Divorce mediation protects the family:
- parties create an agreement tailored to their unique family situation
- promotes cooperation rather than competition, thus reducing stress and disruption
- focuses on future solutions and opportunities, not on past blame and old problems
- encourages respect for the other party, including his/her role as a parent
- promotes adherence to agreement, thus discouraging future litigation
- keeps the children from being "caught in the middle"
Dealing with conflict
Divorce mediation does not provide an "escape" from conflict. However, whereas litigation thrives on conflict--thus discouraging cooperation and communication—divorce mediation encourages you to focus on shared interests and goals by providing a safe place where you and your spouse can express your fears, your anger, your pain and your disappointments. You then can cooperatively and civilly address those unresolved conflicts that have brought about your decision to divorce. Left unaddressed, these conflicts often undermine divorce settlements, causing many couples to continue their battle for years to come.
Finding the courage within
Divorce mediation requires that both spouses take responsibility for their own feelings, their individual needs, and their roles as partners and parents. You may worry that you are not strong enough to express yourself clearly and firmly, or to stand up to your spouse's demands. Admittedly, divorce mediation requires courage: courage to meet face-to-face with your spouse, courage to listen open-mindedly, courage to disagree without blaming or criticizing, courage to express and pursue your own needs. However, divorce mediation helps you discover and develop your own inner strengths and self-respect; divorce mediation helps you find the courage within yourself.