When it comes to divorce, many Rhode Island couples may choose to mediate their dissolution. The following are three types of divorce mediation that have been used over the past 50 years.
The oldest type of mediation that saw broad use is facilitative mediation. Facilitative mediators received training regarding the process of mediation, but were not expected to have a substantial insight into the type of law at issue. These days, things have changed and facilitative mediators usually do have knowledge about the marital laws involved in the couple's divorce. These mediators also follow the standard process of mediation, including determining each spouse's interests, active listening, reframing, validation and assisting couples in working through miscommunications. As the title suggests, the mediator is a facilitator in the process.
Evaluative mediation is another variation of mediation that may be used during the divorce process. In this process, the mediator will take into account the laws pertaining to the situation in order to evaluate the disagreements between the couple. The mediator will consider facts and attempt to envision how a court may rule on the decision if the situation was litigated. Attorneys may play a role in evaluative mediation. In addition, the evaluative mediator might meet with each spouse separately in an act known as "shuttle diplomacy." The main purpose of evaluative mediation is to help spouses who are currently in litigation to find some common grounds and reach a settlement.
Finally, there is transformative mediation. This mediation is based on the theory that mediation can not only solve disputes, but also can change the spouses' relationship with each other and allow for personal growth. This type of mediation is seen as an empowering endeavor, because it gives each spouse decision-making power and allows the couple to clearly understand what outcome and goals they would prefer and what options and resources they have available to them. This type of mediation also emphasizes "recognition," which entails having an empathetic understanding of the other spouse's needs and interests. In this type of mediation, a settlement is only one possible goal -- there may be other goals or results.
Couples in Rhode Island who are heading for divorce may want to consider one of these types of mediation. Oftentimes, mediation is a preferable method for divorce resolution that allows both parties to feel a fair solution has been reached.
Source: Huffington Post, "Where Does Marital Mediation Fit In?," Laurie Israel, May 6, 2015