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Mediation- Friend or Foe?


Humble

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Hey Gang!

 

I am looking for a general perspective as well as advice on Divorce Mediation. My wife and I have failed to save our marriage of 10 years after attempting marriage counseling. We are very raw at present and I believe we have different visions of how our divorce will be resolved. My concern is that we have two children, and their future hangs in the balance. I do not have a lot of faith in my wife, and she has taken a "walk away" attitude since she asked for divorce several months ago. I feel we are both at fault for our current situation, but she likes to blame me for everything.

Can a mediator bring out the best in both parties, or can this end in disaster if one party attempts to munipulate the process? Is anyone willing to talk about their experiences? Thanks to all who participate in this thread!

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A lot will depend on the mediator. Some mediators are aggressive in trying to get people to settle. They almost bully the parties into it. Others are more conciliatory and try to get both sides to an agreement they can live with. And still others are little more than messengers between the two sides.

 

My advice in mediation is for you to make a list of your must haves and then rank everything else in the order of priority for you. As the mediation proceeds you can monitor your list and see how things are going. If mediation simply isn't working out for you and the other side won't budget well you can always end mediation and proceed to trial. The mediator can't actually force you to agree to anything. They don't hold any powers over you. So if you get a bad mediator or things are just going poorly then end it.

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avman,

 

Thank you for your reply. I think I worry because of a rather negative counseling experience. In or marriage therapy, I came forward with my faults and did a lot of self examination, and I felt she brought nothing to the table, no remorse for any of her actions. Our therapist never challenged her to engage the process and just told me our marriage was not going to work. She heard what she wanted and so here we are.

She has also hinted at making a lot of demands in our mediation. She makes quite a bit more money than I do now, but it wasnt always that way. She seems to think (possibly because she listens to some real losers) that this intitles her to make demands relating to our living arrangements (I should let her buy me out of our house) and to our finances (she should keep most of our investments). She is in a hurry to get out and has stopped being civil, trying unsuccessfully to drive me away. I'm not as motivated to ditch and run and have chosen to concentrate on our children.

I realize that this makes having the right mediator that much more important and have begun asking around for referals. Anyone out there have a "nightmare experience" that they might be willing to share. I know this might dredge up old painful feelings, but experience is often the best teacher. Thanks to all.....

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Well she can make all the demands she likes in mediation. That doesn't mean you should agree to them. A good mediator will try to talk to her if her position is totally unreasonable.

 

Talk to your attorney about your position and make sure to consult with them during the mediation. Don't let yourself be sucked into an agreement that is unfair.

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IMHO you have to be as assertive as you can in mediation. The most important thing is to come at it from the perspective of a parent who is looking to maintain the status quo (i.e for the children to have a stable home and income). Unfortunately (or fortunately) that's how the courts look at it as well so if you want to see them more make plan for this, if you are willing to go part time or give up your job say this too. Give them something that is difficult to agree with and it makes their job (and potentially your lives) easier, honestly....

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Lost the Love Of Your Love? Watch T...
Lost the Love Of Your Love? Watch This!

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