When one partner litigates, the other perceives it as an aggressive act – and retaliates. No one wins, even if a judge or jury makes an award. In the divorce arena, parents focus on the hostility, on the payback - but they can forget how this affects the children. When co-parents actively take part in crafting their own legal separation decisions, they are more invested, more cooperative, and are far more likely to follow through with any agreement they have reached together. Mediation can help this happen.
Mediation is voluntary and it is forward looking - it allows parties to structure their own decision-making paths, while a neutral third party helps navigate the process. Mediation allows them to collaborate safely in an environment where each party can voice his or her particular concerns and interests. There, the parties can achieve a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediators aren’t judges: we don’t determine who is right or who is wrong and we don't take sides. We will help you listen to, be heard and understood by the other party, maybe for the first time.
Mediators encourage an atmosphere that stimulates honest, positive communication of individual ideas and feelings. We guide this exchange towards an equitable resolution – we investigate underlying interests, we balance power struggles, and clear any impasse that blocks progress. We develop “reality checks” which explore scenarios that help the parties determine if the intended goals can truly work, given their collective physical, emotional or financial environment.
We help clients focus on the future, instead of continually reliving the past. We can't remove the anger or hurt, but we can help alter the part an individual plays in the conflict, by engaging him or her in a positive conflict resolution process.
"Bad" divorces hurt children and their perceptions of healthy relationships. "Good", or respectful divorces help children understand that relationships may end, but they don't have to destroy everyone and everything in their wake.
Years from now, what will your children say to you about how you handled your divorce? When adults stop the hostile, disparaging talk and begin constructive problem solving, they teach their children life long lessons in conflict resolution.