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The Psychology of a Successful Divorce Mediation

The Psychology of a Successful Divorce Mediation

Almost every divorce is financially and emotionally draining. Both spouses and family members feel the consequences of separation. Children are especially vulnerable. 

In divorce as a legal process, spouses are faced with many challenges. The crucial decisions include:

  • Timesharing with the children,
  • Child support and alimony
  • Division of marital property
  • Debt assignment
  • Decision-making and co-parenting for the children
  • Marital Share of Retirement, Pension and Investment accounts
  • Retention or selling of the marital residence 

Resolving any of those issues can be burdensome and emotionally taxing. From a psychological point of view, divorce is full of emotions such as anger, anxiety, fear, sadness, shock, bitterness, and resentment. 

These emotions intensify when spouses decide to end their marriage through the court litigation procedure.

Divorce mediation provides many advantages that traditional litigation lacks. 

Making Divorce Easier

There are steps spouses can take to prepare themselves for the disruption of the family unit.

  • Never threaten divorce without thinking it through carefully. Talk to your spouse seriously, or consider going to marriage counseling. Going through the legal process is always stressful for everyone involved. For that reason, both you and your spouse should explore all available options before initiating any legal procedure. That includes therapy and support from your friends and family.
  • Always consider how to protect your kids. No matter how disrupted relations between spouses are, everyone agrees on one thing – they all love their children. That is why you must not put your kids in the middle of the conflict. There is nothing more damaging for children than setting so-called loyalty traps. Do not make your children decide who is to blame for the divorce.  Take the online Parenting Class for better skills.
  • Stay calm.  Making decisions and addressing problems are much more effective when you are rational.  The children will take their cues from their parents as to how to react and manage.  Remember that going through therapy and marriage counseling is expensive. There is no point in arguing with your spouse before the professionals. Instead, you should utilize their services to the maximum.
  • Work out a way to share parenting time. The goal is to make a transition as easy as possible for the kids. Adjust your schedules and talk to your spouse (if possible) to explore the best ways to involve both parents in the lives of your children. Attempt to find housing relatively close to their other parent’s home to allow for more ease in transporting the children and sharing in parenting time. It is equally important to work on your post-separation co-parenting relationship.
  • Do not rush into changes or other commitments. Allow the family to adjust during this time of transition.  Each person is at a different stage of change and acceptance.  Wait until your ex-spouse accepts the separation emotionally before dating.
  • Address the Fear of the Unknown.  Continue relationships of both parents with the children to create a new normal.  Provide financially for two households or with cash flow continuing between the parents until final decisions can be made.  Explore options for changes that need to be made:  determine what housing is available and what employment options are out there.

Mediation – The Cure for All Divorce Ills

Mediation - The Cure for All Divorce Ills

Unlike litigation, mediation involves a neutral third party – the mediator. The goal of mediation is to facilitate conversations and reach an outcome that is acceptable to both parties.   The mediator enables the spouses to express their concerns freely and openly.  Mediation allows the parents to maximize their participation in the process and in the creation of a plan.

In contrast to litigation, mediation occurs in a friendly and respectful atmosphere. Holding the sessions in a positive and stress-free environment reduces anxiety and tensions. The spouses can focus on vital divorce issues, such as custody, alimony, and property division. 

In litigation, spouses spend too much time and energy fighting over the costs and legal fees. Mediation avoids creating such a hostile atmosphere by reducing legal fees and expenses, which allows the couple to focus on substantial issues in the divorce. 

Creating a safe and neutral environment enables the spouses to express their emotions freely and allows them to let off steam. After the initial emotional exchange, the spouses can discuss central issues rationally and free from the influence of emotions. 

Contrary to the vindictive nature of litigation, mediation enables the couple to discuss the issues in an objective and constructive manner.  While neither party may be completely happy with the resulting agreement, both parties will have the opportunity to participate and understand why decisions were made, with the limitations that are in place.

Mediation provides each spouse with the opportunity to recognize their self-interest and negotiate the outcome accordingly. That gives both of them a feeling of empowerment. In litigation, the parties often feel like victims of a burdensome legal procedure. Contrarily, mediation creates a sense of control and emotional strength.

Contact us

Kim Torres is a Florida Supreme court certified mediator with a record of over 25 years of success in divorce mediation.   Kim is known for her compassion, patience and persistence, while applying a dose of reality and creativity in resolving disputes.

If you aim is to divorce with as little stress as possible, while creating an optimistic outlook for your future family relationships, contact us today to schedule your appointment.  Kim@TorresMediation.com.