As previously discussed on this blog, mediation can lead to a better result in a shorter time than litigated divorce. This week we will focus on why mediation can be a preferable choice for many couples in Rhode Island seeking a divorce.
First of all, litigating a divorce can be emotionally and financially taxing. Being examined and cross-examined in a divorce trial can be stressful, and it can be difficult to hear witnesses say negative things about you. Also, friends and advisors may try to make you feel better and give you false and unrealistic hopes about the end result of your divorce.
Mediation, however, can be much easier, emotionally. In extreme situations, you need not directly confront your ex. Your ex can be in one room, while you, and the mediator can be the go-between, facilitating discussions that could lead to a resolution. This way, the spouses can work together, rather than against each other. However, in the high majority of cases Steven Hirsch has mediated, the parties sit in one room; often, this encourages one or both parties to vent their anger so they can move past that to working on a result.
Moreover, through mediation, spouses have more opportunities to ask for what they really want. This can be especially important if one of your requests is one that a court may not order. However, keep in mind that mediation is a give-and-take situation. You might get some things you want, but you must also let your ex get some thing he or she wants. In addition, if your ex is totally opposed to one of your requests, you can simply decide to move on to other requests or amend your initial request, instead of spending time on a request that simply will not be agreed upon. You will get the opportunity to explain the basis of your request and be persuasive as opposed to just putting out a position without your justification (explaining your interest).
That being said, in mediation you have choices, and you need not agree to something if you don't want to. A mediator is not a decision maker, he or she is a facilitator. A mediator simple assists you and your ex in making an agreement that settles your divorce issues. The mediator, however, can let you know if you are being unreasonable. Compromise is key in mediation.
In the end, divorce mediation can a good thing, even if you do not settle all your divorce issues. The progress made in mediation can be a building block of negotiations that can continue after mediation is over, which could result in an out-of-court settlement without having to go through emotionally and financially costly litigation.
Source: The Huffington Post, "MediYAYtion: Why Your Upcoming Divorce Mediation is a Good Thing! (And Instructions on How to Rock It!)," Christina Pesoli, May 16, 2016