When a divorcing couple has a relationship where they are still able to effectively communicate, they may consider mediation as an alternative to the traditional divorce route and to cut out litigation. But is there a situation that is too complicated for mediation?
When Mediation Becomes Complicated
There are very few things that can cause mediation to be too complicated to be successful for a divorcing couple.
Unable to Communicate
The most common thing that can make mediation complicated is if both parties are unable to communicate with each other, whether it be due to anger, frustration, misunderstandings, placing the blame on the other party, or other heightened emotions. When a divorcing couple is unable to demonstrate their needs and values during mediation, it makes it very difficult for them to come to agreements regarding important issues in their divorce.
Unable to Compromise
If a couple is able to communicate effectively but unable to understand the other party’s wishes or compromise, then it can cause complications in mediation. The purpose of mediation is to mindfully create a series of agreements about your divorce. If you are unable to come to an agreement even with the help of your mediator, then you may not be successful in mediation and will likely have to then shift to meeting with a private judge in arbitration or progressing to the litigation stage.
What If We Need Guidance?
In mediation, you are not expected to come to agreements immediately with your soon-to-be former spouse – that’s why your mediator is there! If you need guidance on how to approach your session, our biggest advice is to prepare to speak effectively, prepare to listen, and come in with an open mind. With mediation, your neutral third party will listen to both sides before guiding you both towards a peaceful solution for your divorce issues. Due to the collaborative nature of mediation, your solutions may be unique and less common than those in your friends’ divorce agreements, however, the solutions are made by yourself and the other party as you prepare to end your marriage.
Mediation can be used for parents to determine time-sharing and the allocation of parental responsibilities (APR) for your children, as well as determine a child support payment value. Due to the high importance of child custody, your mediator will listen as you and your child’s other parent discuss your wishes for your child’s upbringing following your divorce and then guide you towards creating a meaningful APR plan. Your APR plan will most likely include which parent will be considered to have primary custody, any visitation, and other parenting issues, all of which will be discussed during the mediation sessions.
For High Asset Couples
When it comes to valuable assets, divorcing couples may have desires on how they wish to separate their assets. For couples undergoing a high asset divorce, mediation can help you work through your asset desires and create meaningful agreements where you both discuss which assets you want to retain and how. Together, you will divide retirement assets, investments, homes, vehicles, and even business ownership as you navigate through your mediation process.
High asset divorcing couples may also discuss alimony during their mediation sessions and can agree on a payment value for alimony. However, not every couple will be eligible for alimony, so your lawyer may want to brief you beforehand and be present to advise you on your options.
For Complex Issues
No issue is too complex for mediation as long as the couple is able to communicate clearly and come to an agreement. For complex issues, couples can discuss the issue at hand and then propose solutions, working together until they find a solution that works for both parties and is mutually agreed upon.
If both parties hit a stalemate and are unable to propose new solutions or agree on a reasonable option, the mediator may consult experts to help guide the couple. Experts will have experience with the issue at hand and can help the couple better understand the issue or their options, such as bringing in a child psychologist for instances of custody disagreements, a therapist if the couple has hit a roadblock on communication, or accountants to discuss the couple’s division of property or child support payments.
Colorado Springs Certified Mediator
If you are divorcing and believe you are able to communicate with your soon-to-be former spouse, our certified mediator at Peak Mediation can guide you through the process of creating practical decisions that benefit both parties.
Do you believe you have a complicated divorce? Our mediation services may be able to help you create a peaceful resolution that you will value. Call us today at (719) 259-5944 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our mediator and learn how your divorce can benefit from mediation.