Considering Divorce? What Mediation Can Do
“Mary, I think I’m going to ask him for a divorce.” When Mary heard these words, her heart ached for her friend. Keenly aware of all her own divorce had cost her, Mary hoped Don and Gina would be spared the same pain. Gina’s next words broke through her thoughts, “Mary, I know you’ve been through this. What should I do now?”
“Gina—if I could give you one piece of advice, it’s this. Do NOT make this a fight. You may want to bury Don—but you will end up burying your kids and yourself in the process. Try to use mediation.”
“But I want to be protected! Can mediation do that?”
Most couples want a clean break with as little damage as possible. But some have only heard of going through court as adversaries. Others have been told by friends their only protection comes from using an attorney. Couples need to know that Conciliation-Mediation offers both protection and a path toward health. Conciliation-Mediation’s benefits include:
Couples stepping into divorce often feel they are stepping into a black hole. They don’t know what they don’t know.
Though choices may seem straightforward, every decision couples make carries long-term legal, financial, and parenting ramifications. Ramifications unknown to the couple unless someone explains these. Unfortunately, attorneys will often talk about options open to clients for their legal issues but few take the time to explain future outcomes of those options. Even fewer take the time to inform clients about all the non-legal issues they will face. Conciliation-Mediation does.
Mediators working in Conciliation-Mediation outline all the issues couples must address in their divorce—legal, financial, parenting, pragmatic, and lifestyle. Mediators then provide a range of options for addressing these issues—those available through the court and those available outside the court’s power. Finally, mediators explain the likely outcomes of each option.
Equipped with this information, couples can then put together an agreement based on what works best for their situation. They can plan their future because they know what the options will mean. Couples structure an agreement that works for them.
Conciliation-Mediation looks forward:
Mary’s husband used the divorce to make her “pay” for all the misery she caused him. Because she decided to leave, he took the position that she needed to leave with nothing. He believed that, since he put the money down on the house, contributed the sole income to the family, and let her go to school—Mary was entitled to nothing. And, he paid his lawyer $60,000 to fight for that outcome. While Mary finally did get more, they both left the marriage with far less than they could have.
In Conciliation-Mediation couples look forward. Instead of trying to get even or punish a spouse for the past, spouses take stock of what they have and consider what they will need. They then use what they have to meet the needs of both as best they can. This preserves precious resources for life ahead.
Attorneys have an ethical obligation to get the most they can for their clients. This pits rights against rights—with the judge deciding who wins. Unfortunately, by the time the judge decides, former spouses have been set against each other—often for the rest of their lives.
Conciliation-Mediation focuses on the relationship. Especially if the couple has children (but even if they share friends, a community, or a business), they will continue to relate to each other. Instead of pitting people against each other, Conciliation-Mediation strives to help couples redefine their relationship. As spouses to work together to shape their future, they often, ironically, find they relate better in their divorce than they were able to do in their marriage.
Once couples decide to divorce, the process they use matters. Conciliation-Mediation offers couples and informed, forward-looking restorative process to move them through divorce to a stable future.
If you are considering divorce, call 317-344-9740 or email info@TheResolutionCenterIndy.com to learn how Conciliation-Mediation can work for you. We look forward to serving you.