Why Divorce Mediation?

Conflict is built into divorce.  When a married couple divorces, one couple becomes two individuals seeking a fair share of property, money, and perhaps parenting time with their child(ren).  Obviously, conflict is built into the situation.  Two people are in the process of separating because of their differences.  Now they are expected to communicate and make decisions as they reorganize their family.


An adversarial legal process adds to the discord. The adversarial nature of the legal divorce process only adds to this inherent conflict.  Attorneys are hired and ethically bound to argue zealously for their client only. Often legal strategy and winning points becomes the focus as hostility escalates.  This hostility is costly.  It is costly financially as each party pays his or her attorney for hours of discussion and legal paperwork at somewhere around $250 to $400 per hour, plus additional court costs and witness fees.  It is also costly emotionally as opposing parties and their children become mired in accusations, bitterness, and a lingering uncertainty.  The parties continue to strive for a settlement because the failure to negotiate an agreement means that a judge -  knowing only what can be reduced to evidence and legal arguments - will ultimately make the decision for them.


Families need help to plan for a different future.  Families in the process of reorganizing need a process that focuses them on communication and agreement from the outset.  This is especially true if children are involved.  Children feel caught in the middle between two divorcing parents.  They listen to the arguments and feel the hostility.  No matter what occurs during the divorce, parents remain parents afterward.  They need to find a way to successfully reorganize the family and become engaged as business partners in the business of parenting.


Mediation is an efficient and inexpensive process designed to help people reach the best agreements. Mediation offers a safe and professional environment where the participants are guided by an impartial mediator to resolve divorce issues regarding property, finances, and parenting.  Though divorcing spouses are encouraged to retain attorneys to advise each of them on legal issues, mediation allows the participants to control the priorities set, the options discussed, and the final agreement produced.  The trained mediator facilitates conversation that improves the likelihood of reaching an agreement. If divorce litigation has already commenced, mediation typically quickens the pace and, thus, reduces overall cost for the parties.  Mediation also increases post-decree cooperation because the participants worked together toward resolving the issues. Most participants find the mediation process rewarding and are pleased with the result.   


Mediation offers a way to reach a complete settlement in uncontested divorces.   Sometimes parties agree that divorce is necessary and begin working toward a settlement agreement on their own.  Overtime, most amicably divorcing spouses recognize that they need guidance to ensure that all the issues have been uncovered and completely resolved. Though they may turn to their attorneys for legal advice, they want the focus to remain on reaching a mutually agreeable resolution with the least amount of conflict.  Mediation is an informal and collaberative process that is well suited to couples that are amicably divorcing. The skilled and professional divorce mediator not only ensures that all issues are completely resolved but usually complies the completed settlement into a written Memorandum of Understanding.  


Mediation offers a way to resolve post-divorce decree issues.  Divorce decrees may be the final word on the divorce but not the final word on conflict.  Issues addressed in the divorce may be the source of new disputes even after the divorce is finalized. For example, unforeseen parenting time issues often arise.  Children grow and parenting time that worked when a child was three may not work when that same child is thirteen.   Running to a court for resolution to these issues is usually the last choice.  Mediation offers a route for bridging whatever conflict arises.


Let Johnson Mediation Services bridge the conflict in your divorce and improve the chances of a satisfying resolution.



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© 2006 Johnson Mediation Services



Johnson Mediation Services