Marriages and divorces differ because of their specificity and complexity. If one spouse contemplates divorce, he/she can choose the most suitable option and decide how to proceed. Some individuals prefer mediation as they find it the most appropriate option for their case. However, this approach has some negative and positive aspects. In divorce mediation, one spouse or both, together with the lawyers and family’s representatives, hire a mediator, who serves as a neutral and competent third party. The specialist meets his clients to discuss and solve the issues associated with the legal dissolution of their marriage. The paper seeks to examine such option as divorce mediation, point out to what I have learned, and express my view on this approach as well as discuss its positive and negative sides.
If one or both spouses have chosen the option of divorce mediation, they hire a competent third party that serves as a mediator of the entire process. This specialist is responsible for assisting a divorcing couple in finding consensus and signing the reciprocal and mutually beneficial and acceptable agreement on all aspects. The mediator does not necessarily have to be a lawyer. However, he/she has to be an expert in the respective field and possess knowledge of family law and divorce. Moreover, it is crucial for every mediator to be impersonal in his/her decisions and judgments. Spouses cooperate with their attorneys prior to reaching the agreement. The main aim of the mediation process is to promote open communication, negotiate an adequate resolution, and share the necessary information as well acknowledge the highest priorities of all individuals.
I have learned that divorce mediation is the process, during which the spouses negotiate the legal dissolution of marriage through the intermediary. By using this option and professional assistance of a mediator, a divorcing couple tries to decide the best and most important things for their children after the couple’s separation. In mediation, the involvement of the neutral third party helps to resolve the issues in a proper manner and end the marriage peacefully. The aspects that the divorce mediation covers include retirement, spending time with parents, child maintenance, custody, and liabilities. I think that this approach can be effective and successful if a divorcing couple invites the mediator. This specialist can assist in the case if the spouses find it difficult to reach an agreement on their own. The intervention of an intermediary is crucial as the professional teaches empathy, promotes open communication, tests the pair, brainstorms new ideas, and assists in the entire decision-making process. The intermediary helps to keep the couple focused on the pressing issues so that they do not get off track (Gladding, 2015). When a divorcing couple forgets about their main goal and starts arguing during mediation, no successful outcome can be reached as the spouses are filled with bad memories and negative emotions.
I consider the approach to divorce mediation a well-developed, informed, confidential, and flexible one. I think that it provides the couple with an opportunity to resolve the conflict finally and work collaboratively as amicable parents. If the spouses have children, it is crucial for them to keep interacting with each other after the divorce. Mediation promotes communication and encourages the smooth and adequate discussion of problems pertaining to their children. Gladding (2015) considers the lack of any interaction the common reason for the separation. Through the suitable option of mediation, the spouses who file for divorce learn to communicate again for the sake of their children and make their relationship after divorce even better. The couple formulates ideas and signs a mutually acceptable and beneficial agreement owing to the professional help of the mediator. Free and open exchange of important information helps the couple to negotiate with each other calmly and confidently. As mediation is voluntary, it continues until the intermediary and the clients see a great need for it. Its duration depends on the complexity of the case.
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I have recognized that the period of mediation depends on whether the pressing issues have been formulated in advance. If it is done correctly, it will help to avoid any misunderstandings and address problems properly during the process. Hopt and Steffek (2013) mention that the amount of time spent on the intermediation depends on the couple’s readiness to reach the mutually beneficial agreement that will satisfy them and their children. It is possible to reduce the process of divorce mediation if spouses reach consensus before consulting with the expert or narrow down the available options to a few suitable ones. However, if individuals recognize that they cannot deal with the divorce without intervention, it is strongly recommended not to waste time and seek professional legal assistance. When the spouses try to save money and solve problems on their own, the intermediation of their divorce becomes time-consuming and difficult.
Every couple must consider the positive and negative aspects of divorce mediation before deciding if it works positively for the particular case. The chosen option ensures long-term and good relationship of the ex-spouses as they do not fight and argue in the court. Their children do not suffer due to the peaceful proceeding to divorce. Mediation accelerates signing of an agreement and significantly reduces expenses. Moreover, it helps a pair to control the divorce as the spouses, not the court, make the final decision. The mediation values discretion and privacy in the entire process. However, this option may waste the couple’s time and money. In case negotiations fail, the spouses are forced to start all over again. The mediator can act subjectively or give preference to one of his/her clients. If the specialist does not have enough experience or he/she acts biased towards one spouse, the outcome can dissatisfy the other side. The divorce mediation may lead to the legal complications and signing of the impracticable and unilateral agreement that can be repealed (Gladding, 2015). The mediation does not always cover particular assets. As in the majority of cases the financial information is disclosed, one of the spouses may simply hide income. Inadequate behavior patterns can also exist. The final agreement can be questioned in case one spouse is submissive and the other one dominates. The mediation can also increase negative behavior and fuel negative emotions of the participants.
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The modern couples often choose the option of intermediation due to its positive feedback, cheapness, and a decent way to get divorced. However, the biggest issue of mediation highlighted by the experts is to help spouses to sign an agreement. In most cases, they do not even worry about who will benefit from the final decision. Their main objective is to get the clients to agree, not provide the helpful advice. Not all agreements reached are good ones. Spouses have to be amicable and use the mediation as the most suitable option for their case.
The paper has deeply explored the issue of intermediation in divorce, which implies the intervention of a neutral third party that helps to reach the mutually acceptable agreement. If the spouses seek to get divorced through the court, their case will be discussed in public. Moreover, the post-divorce problems, waste of time and money are inevitable. If they choose the divorce mediation, privacy and confidentiality are guaranteed. Moreover, this option promotes collaboration and communication between the participants of the process, whereas the court system limits them. Particular attention is paid to children who should not suffer from the divorce of their parents.
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