Is divorce mediation really an option for me?
Even some mediators sometimes say to me “Mediation is great, but it’s not for everyone”. And that really annoys me, because (as I explain to those mediators – and others of the same opinion) that I believe they are incorrect.
Mediation IS right for everyone. It’s just that not everyone is able to successfully access it – which is very different from saying mediation is flawed, because what it means is that we all need to do more to help couples to access mediation as much as we possibly can.
So why do some people struggle to access mediation and make it an effective tool for helping complete their divorce?
Sometimes it for extreme reasons, like if their partner is a complete narcissist and won’t listen to any other opinion other than their own (though collaborative practice can work in those situations, and so can arbitration, simply because even a narcissist doesn’t necessarily want to spend a whole lot of money in court if they are not going to end up getting their way).
Most of the time it’s because couples have misconceptions over mediation, or they haven’t interviewed enough mediators and chosen the right person for the job – just gone with the first person they spoke with. Or they are still very angry, or very afraid of the financial implications of the divorce and what they need to do first is deal with that fear and anger, and THEN use mediation.
And there are options such as Shuttle Mediation (where you sit in separate rooms and the mediator shuttles back and forth) and even online mediation now – so I stand by my belief that the key is to educate couples sufficiently about the benefits, so that at least ignorance would no longer be a reason for people not reaping the rewards of using a more peaceful solution.