Mediation is often discussed as something that helps you during a divorce, but did you know that it's actually helpful before you decide to divorce as well? Unlike marriage counseling, mediation is primarily used to discuss problems in a relationship and then to show individuals how to handle a dispute gracefully. By learning to manage disputes, there's a chance that certain couples could get through difficulties and remain together.
One of the most serious questions about a marriage ending is if it's really the right thing to do. The threat of a divorce makes things tense, and, in a way, could lead to a divorce because of growing concerns and hurt feelings.
Instead of focusing immediately on getting a divorce, mediation is a good first step. Here are a few reasons why.
1. Mediation gives you a safe place to vent
Instead of covering up arguments at home to avoid your children hearing or fighting among yourselves via text message, a mediation session gives you a specific amount of time to sit together and discuss problems. If you can't seem to talk to one another, the mediator has ways of drawing out information and listening to both people. As a third party with no vested interest in the outcome, the mediator can help you both understand each others' perspectives and what you can do to listen to each other's concerns.
2. Mediation lays out the reality of a divorce
During your mediation sessions, it's okay to talk about divorce and that possibility. The mediator knows what to expect legally if you opt for a divorce and can help you and your spouse understand what that road would lead to. You may discuss if it would be hard to separate or if you'd both rather stay together but need to find a better way to live in harmony. The mediator may discuss how each of you feels about divorce versus the reality of what happens during one.
3. Mediation eliminates myths
Finally, mediators can help eliminate myths about divorce and marriage, so you feel more comfortable. You can say whatever you think in the session, and the mediator will talk to you about the feelings you have versus what actually happens when you divorce. For example, if you feel not getting a divorce is necessary for your children, the mediator may have data to show why it may not always be in the best interests of the children for you and your spouse to stay together.
The mediator's goal is to help you and your spouse fully grasp the implications of divorce. With this help, you can decide if a divorce is really the right solution.