During and after a divorce, people often complain "I never got to say what I wanted to say" or "My spouse never heard me - what I needed and what I was willing to give." These people did not go through divorce mediation.
Years ago, most Rhode Island divorce cases involved Motions for Temporary Allowances that were heard in Court before a Judge. Even if each party only took the stand to testify for 15 minutes, each had an opportunity to be heard by a Judge as each testified about custody and money. Each experienced the opportunity to get issues of her/his chest and feel like he/she was heard.
Today, few spouses take the stand in court, getting the occasion to tell his/her story in open court. Instead, issues are resolved by conferences where the Judge meets only with the parties' attorneys, suggesting terms that hopefully help settle a dispute. Parties, who do not get the time to tell a Judge his/her point of view, may fel unsatisfied, that "if only I could have spoken to the Judge." Parties only speak to their hired attorney. Parties do not get the time to explain why they believe that they are right, and it fails to allow the parties to vent. Complaints, frustrations and pent up anger are not released and these feelings fester long after the entry of the Final Judgment of Divorce. Having practiced law since 1978 and mediation since 1995, I know that settlements are achieved when parties are ready to settle, after they had felt that their voice was heard and clearly considered in forming a settlement. High conflict parties are encouraged to regain some respect for the other party and discuss matters in a civil manner; this has solved many disputes as the emotional underpinnings that force parties to continue to fight are weakened.
Divorce Mediation is a forum where Steven Hirsch, a trained and experienced neutral meets with the parties to allow them to express each person's needs and desires. Both parties work on finding various compromises to attain a win-win result. During 18 years of mediating, Steven has seen most parties use the controlled and protected mediation sessions to be able to vent, blame, explain past actions and omissions and apologize, allowing the parties to move past emotional issues and focus on reasoned decisions. Settlements based on objective analysis of the facts and the needs of both parties are better that those based upon emotions such as revenge or based upon the decision of a third party (a Judge).
Call Steven at 401.352.1000 to make an appointment with your spouse to begin mediating and searching for a solution to your dispute.