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The Three Different Approaches to Divorce Mediation

Typically, divorce mediators use a combination of three approaches to mediation — facilitative, evaluative, and transformative. By taking advantage of these three models, we can help couples effectively communicate and come to a mutual separation agreement.

The Differences Between Each Mediation Model

Facilitative Mediation

Facilitative mediation encourages parties to take an active role in making decisions that affect their lives. First, couples are told to identify and discuss key issues in their divorce (custody, property division, debts, alimony, etc.). By communicating effectively, facilitative mediation helps couples come to an agreement regarding each issue.

As an unbiased third party, the mediator will typically offer reasonable options or suggestions, but does not share their opinion on each matter — whether or not the agreement is fair is up to the discretion of each party.

And because facilitative mediators rarely hold individual sessions, you and your spouse will have the chance to be at each meeting and discuss your wishes.

Evaluative Mediation

An evaluative mediator has a strong knowledge of family law and uses that to assist in divorce cases. An evaluative mediator will often review each party’s case, then describe how a judge would likely rule on the matters of their divorce.

While some mediators do not offer any suggestions, an evaluative mediator will make formal or informal recommendations regarding the outcome of a couple’s divorce. Rather than focusing on each couple’s interests, these mediators put a stronger emphasis on each person’s legal rights.

And unlike other mediators, who conduct joint meetings, evaluative mediators tend to hold separate meetings with each party and their attorney. If one party is particularly busy, mediators can also meet with just a client’s attorney to discuss best possible outcomes.

Transformative Mediation

Transformative mediation is the newest concept of the three. If you and your spouse are having trouble communicating, transformative mediation will work to change your communication style and how you interact with one another.

The goal of mediation is not to place blame or accuse one another. In addition to helping each party come to a mutual agreement, a transformative mediator focuses on making sure a couple has positive interactions and empowering both parties so that one does not get talked over.

It’s important to remember that “positive interactions” is not the same as happy or enjoyable interactions. We understand that the divorce process can be emotional and that many couples don’t remain friends throughout the process. However, positive interactions means you are both working towards the goal of settling disagreements, not arguing over past indiscretions.

Reaching an Agreement

It’s important to know that agreements made during mediation aren’t just conversation, they’re legally binding because both parties sign them. Agreements are also notarized, as required by law. Whether your agreement was made during mediation or by a judge during the court process, it is legally binding.

Once you’ve settled all aspects of your case, our mediators will help you submit the agreement to a court for approval.

Mediation Services in Colorado Springs

Contrary to popular belief, solving disputes doesn’t need to be a contested battle. From divorce to custody and civil matters, our goal at Peak Mediation is to help people resolve disputes in a simpler, more efficient way.

Even amid the most challenging and difficult time of your life, we’re here to help you save money and time, cooperate effectively with your partner, and maintain an amicable relationship.

Call Peak Mediation at (719) 259-5944 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a mediator in Colorado Springs.