Often, Mediators are asked this question. Simply put, Mediation allows separating and divorcing couples to jointly make major decisions that will have great impact on their lives and the lives of their families. The Mediator will guide the couple in learning how to “negotiate” with one another and find solutions that that will be agreeable and equitable to both parties. As in any negotiation there has to be compromise, a certain give and take. The Mediator often is able to communicate to each party what the other party is attempting to communicate by removing all of the emotion that exists normally in any relationship whether calm or turbulent. We don’t make the decisions but rather, we assist you, and sometimes suggest resolutions that are “creative” and “out of the box” but that will work for your unique situation. After all, what works for one family may not be what works for another family. Why should everyone fit in one size box?
Although couples may no longer be communicating as husband and wife or partners,when children are involved, they will continue to communicate on a different level for many years to come. I like to say that it’s like developing a type of “business relationship”, the business of raising your children in a healthy, productive environment. Mediation teaches just this. Mediated settlements have a higher rate of compliance since the couples have actually crafted their own agreement, not the courts, or two opposing third parties. Even in high conflict situations, Mediation is often very successful.