Misconceptions, we are all familiar with them. They often begin from a personal experience or imprecise language and snowball with the passing of time, and of course, the vast media representations and interpretations, until we are all playing along as if we know what we are talking about.
As a full time specialist in the field of Divorce Mediation, I thought it was time to provide some clarity to those misconceptions.
This list comes from either questions that couples have asked during a consultation for divorce mediation or questions that people will ask me when they learn that I am a divorce mediator.
You have to be friends with your soon to be ex.
In all my years of helping couples divorce through mediation I have yet to come across a couple that I would call “friends”. Divorce is tough and it brings out so many emotions. Anger, hurt, resentment…….the list can go on and on.
You have to be willing to communicate with your soon to be ex with a mediator, a neutral third party. You also need to be realistic and understand that you most likely will not walk out of the divorce mediation with 100% of what you thought you would get. You have to be willing to negotiate and come to a compromise.
Attorneys can’t be involved.
This should have probably been #1 on the list. As a divorce mediator, I am neutral. I am not there to represent or “fight for” one party. I am there to help the couple through the process, educate them and help them come to the best possible solution for them and their family. I do not give legal advice. Anyone who is acting as a mediator can not give legal advice even if they practice law.
One of the first things I ask couples is if they have seen an attorney to understand their legal rights. Some couples chose to seek the advice of an attorney before, during or after the mediation is complete. Some use attorneys through the entire process.
It’s up to each individual person. When the mediation is finished couples are always encouraged to have separate attorneys review the final agreement before their divorce is processed through the courts. Mediators never take the place of an attorney. We help couples communicate directly with each other instead of having one attorney talk to the other attorney and then to the clients.
Mediation is a $299 Divorce
Divorce mediation is not a “no cost” divorce. It is a process where a professional, skilled mediator is guiding the couple through the process. As a Divorce Mediator, I am trained and engage in on going education in mediation. Education can include training in divorce law, finances, psychology and any other topic that will help me be a better mediator.
The cost of mediation is significantly lower because couples are not only sharing in the cost of my hourly rate, they are communicating directly which cuts down on the time it takes to come to agreement. Typically an entire divorce mediation with me will cost less than a retainer fee for one attorney.
There are some other misconceptions about divorce mediation but these are the top 3 that come to mind. Like anything, it’s important to become educated on a topic. So if you’re thinking that divorce is in your future, know that there is a real and successful option out there which can help you get through this tough time without destroying you and everything around you.
Most divorce mediators will offer a complimentary consultation to learn if divorce mediation is for you.