Divorce mediation – A Gentle Alternative

Divorce mediation often has several dimensions in addition to legal considerations which may include factors such as psychological, emotional, economic, and parental issues when children are involved. The adversarial nature of the divorce process often can be unfortunate and disruptive which negatively affects not only the individuals involved but also their friends, families, and communities.

While divorce in a conventional legal setting often generates conflict and competition, there is an alternative approach in Divorce Mediation. The process can be elevated to one of pursuit of justice, peace, harmony and perhaps even love for those in the midst of adversarial conflict. Ideally, mediation provides parties with a way to individually pursue fairness and justice. Parties can be honest in their search for fairness and justice, even in the midst of a contested divorce. They can choose to be civilized in dissolving their marriage and treat each other with respect and humanity to attempt to avoid destructive, hostile, and bitter consequences which may accompany a contested dissolution. Mediation can help couples move on with their individual lives and, when children are involved, promote a loving, secure relationship for them. Collaboration and mediation are effective even in the most complex cases, because they allow for creative problem-solving and informed decision-making. I the event there are issues which the parties simply cannot resolve after good faith efforts, they may elect to have the mediator resolve the decision in the capacity of an arbiter.

Ideally, an effective mediator will create a trusting environment that facilitates conversation and communication between divorcing spouses and encourages understanding and enlightenment to address the other spouses priorities, as well as their own, and undertake goals of shaping promising futures for each of the parties.

Mediation encourages the parties to focus on the future and not cast blame for the past. Animosity and distrust are replaced with open communication, cooperation, and collaboration in an informal and safe environment.

A mediation attorney acts as a facilitator who do not make decisions (unless also acting as an arbiter), but attempts to guide the parties to create empowered settlements. Unrestricted by the narrow parameters imposed by the law, mediating parties can utilize a flexible approach to forge a creative agreement tailored to their unique circumstances and needs. Research has shown that compliance and satisfaction with mediated agreements are far higher than when imposed by a third party, i.e., a judge or a magistrate. Many seasoned Denver divorce lawyers recognize the negative aspects of litigating divorce cases and will attempt to promote amicable settlements through efforts with a mediation attorney or a divorce attorney.

Mediation directs couples away from an adversarial and hostile process while concentrating on cooperation, communication, and the opportunity to alleviate potential problems which may arise after the entry of a decree. A potentially recalcitrant or confrontational spouse may be less likely to take an unreasonable posture in a collaborative environment where they may be actively engaged.

Ideally, mediation will create a process of conflict resolution which integrates justice by balancing views of fairness, peacefulness, and compassion. The adversarial legal process can lead to turmoil and conflict, which often increases as the case progresses. An effective mediator encourages the parties to pursue that which is fair and right in their eyes, beyond the letter of the law.

The goals of mediation are to encourage the parties to be stronger, wiser, more durable, and attempt meaningful resolution of their conflicts. With motivation and guidance, there is a way to avoid the turmoil of conflict, with all of its devastating consequences. Ideally, the process of mediation will provide divorcing couples with respect, dignity, and civility for themselves and for their families. Mutual settlement, rather than the strict application of formal law, is the ideal which attempts to create justice by allowing individuals to balance options to achieve overall fairness and perhaps harmony, dignity, compassion, and peace in the process.
Gary Gottesfeld may be reached via email at gary@gottesfeldlaw.com or at 303.892.7000.