Why Should You Consider Mediation When Getting a Divorce?
While there are a variety of reasons why mediation is a desirable alternative to a traditional divorce, I believe mediation is an undeniably powerful tool for families ensconced in conflict. Mediation has been used with great success for several decades in settling and resolving family, marital and couple conflicts.
The reason mediation is so effective is because of the cooperative nature of the process. You are called to make decisions jointly, rather than as two opposing parties in a legal battle. You control how your assets are split, and how your children will be cared for. You control the process, rather than having a judge determine your fate. Thus, you will not be subject to court-imposed delays or cross-examinations. The timeline for settling a divorce typically depends on the people, rather than the legal or situational factors surrounding the divorce. An extremely tempestuous couple will often take longer to look past their issues and agree on a settlement.
Conflict is an inevitable part of any divorce; however, an excess of conflict is a warning sign. If disagreements impede the process of a divorce, then couples undoubtedly have unresolved emotional issues that they have not yet dealt with. You should exercise forgiveness as it will help both the pace of the divorce settlement and the timeline for which each person heals after the separation.
Communicating from the heart is a necessary element in the process of mediation. This type of communication is characterized as highly intuitive, holistic and circular, and it will ultimately encourage you to forge meaningful and authentic connections with your spouse that will eliminate internal conflict. When you engage in a “heart-to-heart”, you learn more about what you truly want. Sometimes a person’s desire is not for a divorce, but rather, a change in their marriage. A call for divorce is sometimes a kneejerk reaction to fear and anger surrounding a marriage, and the solution is often a form of counseling, much like the process of mediation.
Thus, mediation goes beyond solving divorce settlements—it makes you look at the origin of your conflict-ridden relationship. Since mediation calls you to look at the source of your separation, you can then recall the emotional journey that led you to seek out a divorce. You can make informed decisions about your relationship with your spouse, minimizing further conflict and encouraging cooperation for the sake of your futures and the well-being of any children involved.
Finally, mediation allows you to look at what is truly at stake in your divorce. Once you determine the origins of your divorce and how you feel about your spouse, divorce, etc., you can open up about ways to facilitate a peaceful resolution. I encourage couples to have heartfelt, self-aware interactions with their partner when navigating through a divorce settlement.
If you have any questions or concerns about Mediation, or would like to
schedule a no fee mediation consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me today!
Leyla Balakhane is a Family Law Mediator in the Los Angeles area
and can be reached at 424.235.4173