When couples decide to end their marriage and families are forced to separate, it is difficult for everyone. Though it might seem as though the only people are affected are the spouses, the end of a marriage means changes for everyone. Even under the best of circumstances it is a tough transition, but a long, drawn-out court battle makes things even worse.
Luckily, there is an option available that can help families transition from marriage to separation with less stress, less animosity, and less disruption in life. Mediation is a tool that makes ending a marriage as easy as it can possibly be and makes it possible for the family to move forward into a new way of relating to one another.
What makes mediation so perfect for separating families?
Mediation is Built on Communication
One of the most important reasons why mediation works so well when families are separating is because it keeps the lines of communication open. A mediator is a third-party facilitator who is working for both spouses, as opposed to representing one or the other.
A mediator’s goal is to help a separating couple find a solution that both are happy with. The way this is done is by bringing the couple together to explore all potential outcomes and weigh the pros and cons of each outcome. Everyone is encouraged to share his or her concerns and discuss why solutions seem fair or unfair. The mediator oversees these conversations and keeps the process on track.
Mediation tends to cut down on the discussions that go astray and get mired in resentment and ill-intentions. There is a well-defined goal at the beginning of mediation and someone is there to keep the goal on track.
The problem-solving strategies used in mediation can also be useful as a family moves forward into their new way of living. Many couples find that once their separation is finalized and they are forced to co-parent the methods they learned in mediation are an effective way of resolving differences that arise.
Control of the Situation
When decisions about separation and divorce are made in the courtroom the family has very little control over what happens. They might be able to share how they feel, but ultimately it is the court making the final decision.
This is not the case with mediation. The process puts a separating couple in complete control of the process and the outcome. Mediations are not considered successful unless both spouses walk away from the situation satisfied with the arrangement.
Mediation also ensures that children have an opportunity to share how they feel when it is appropriate.
The spirit of self-determination makes the transition from marriage to separation easier on everyone.
Even with all of the benefits, mediation is not perfect. A marriage is still ending and that is never going to be easy. It is also not the right tool for everyone to use, especially if a marriage involved abuse or one party is unwilling to accept the end of the relationship. Assuming mediation could provide a method for helping a family to separate, it is often the best option available.