According to statistics, a couple divorces every 36 seconds in the US.
If things have turned sour with your significant other, throwing in the towel and getting divorced as soon as possible can be tempting. Living in conflict can eat away at your emotional well-being and even affect your health.
But divorce is a big, life-changing event. It can also be incredibly stressful, especially if you pursue a traditional divorce.
According to the Social Readjustment Scale, divorce is considered one of the most severe life stressors.
Marriage mediation allows couples to work through their differences before giving up on their relationship.
If marriage mediation isn’t successful, you can consider divorce mediation or collaborative divorce.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of marriage mediation and what to do if it doesn’t work.
What Is Marriage Mediation?
Marriage mediation is a conflict resolution process couples can use to reach common ground on things they disagree about.
Marriage mediation is not counseling or couple’s therapy. Instead, it’s meant to help couples negotiate and resolve points of conflict.
Have you ever tried having a conversation, only for it to devolve as strong emotions rear their heads? The emotional baggage of a relationship can make it hard to discuss everyday arrangements.
One moment you’re trying to discuss whose family to spend Christmas with. The next, you’re hurling insults.
Because it’s focused on conflict resolution, marriage mediation doesn’t delve into the past. It also doesn’t address mental/emotional dynamics like counseling sessions would.
In a marriage mediation session, you’ll deal with specific decisions, such as where to send the kids to school or what financial decisions to make.
Couples can use marriage mediation to resolve areas of conflict. Or you can use it in conjunction with couples therapy or individual counseling.
Marriage Mediation Can Help You Become a Better Communicator
Although marriage mediation isn’t therapy, it can teach you valuable communication skills.
Poor communication is a recipe for conflict and misunderstandings. Often, marriage communication issues are rooted in a lack of trust or built-up resentment.
Marriage mediation might not give you the tools to clear these issues. But it can give you the communication skills to speak about things productively. Over time, this might help you address more deep-seated, sensitive topics together.
Even if mediation can’t save your marriage, the skills you learn can benefit you during divorce and beyond.
We’ve helped countless couples navigate the divorce process with minimal conflict. One of the secrets to this is communication.
Maintaining good communication is critical if you have children and want to co-parent.
Marriage Mediation Is One of the Cheapest Intervention Strategies Available
Marriage mediation is also one of the most affordable intervention strategies. Most mediation services are also available on an as-needed basis.
Instead of committing to ongoing sessions, like couples therapy, you can utilize marriage mediation as and when you need it.
Transforming Conflict Into Cooperation Can Have Long-Term Benefits
The overarching benefit of mediation is that it can turn conflict into cooperation. This can have significant long-term effects. Transforming conflict into collaboration could save your marriage and improve it over time.
Even if you can’t reconcile, mediation can help you navigate your situation and map out a future with as little conflict as possible. Whether this future is staying together or separating, negotiation and cooperation will make everything easier.
What If It Doesn’t Work? Consider Mediated Divorce Over Traditional Divorce Proceedings
Although marriage mediation can effectively navigate certain types of conflict, it’s not a magic bullet. If irreconcilable differences exist, ending the marriage might be the only option.
However, you can still bring the mediation process into your divorce proceedings. Mediated divorce has a different purpose than mediation to stay in a marriage, but the overall focus is the same—cooperation and negotiation over conflict.
Here are some reasons why mediated divorce can be a better option than traditional divorce.
Traditional Divorce Can Increase Conflict
Before no-fault divorce laws, a divorcing spouse had to prove the other was “at fault.” This isn’t necessary anymore. However, traditional divorce processes can still be antagonistic.
The very nature of divorce can increase the conflict that’s already developed in your marriage. Traditional divorce pits both parties against each other.
Traditional Divorce Can Be Drawn Out and Expensive
This can draw out the process because traditional divorce often involves more conflict. Traditional divorce also tends to be expensive. It involves more lawyers’ fees and legal costs.
If your divorce goes to court, this can drive up the costs.
Mediated Divorce Is Flexible, Cost-Effective, and Private
Unlike traditional divorce, mediated divorce does not require hiring an attorney. It involves three parties: you, your spouse, and the mediator.
The mediator needs to have the power to decide your case. They are there to help you work out the details of your divorce agreement and mediate any disputes.
Because mediated divorce is so simple, it’s one of the cheapest options. It can also be swift. Many couples can hash out their divorce agreement in less than five sessions.
Finally, all details of your divorce are private. If you pursue a traditional divorce and your case is in court, the details can become public.
Collaborative Divorce Is Another Option
If you don’t think you’ll be able to meet with success via a mediated divorce, you can also consider a collaborative divorce.
In a collaborative divorce case, an attorney represents each spouse. But unlike in traditional divorce, the attorneys’ role is to work together (while representing your interests) to reach a mutually beneficial divorce agreement.
This process is far less combative than the traditional divorce process. It can also be cheaper, quicker, and less traumatic.
Are You Considering Mediated Divorce?
Marriage mediation can help couples resolve conflict and work through certain types of issues constructively. Marriage mediation can be a valuable tool if you can’t see eye-to-eye over important decisions.
You can look into mediated or collaborative divorce if you still wish to separate. Both of these approaches focus on cooperation and communication.
We believe that divorce doesn’t have to be destructive. Our experienced, compassionate attorneys and mediators can help you pursue a calm, fair, and amicable divorce.
If you would like to book an appointment, contact us today.