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Divorce and Post-divorce Mediation

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Mediation Versus Courtroom Battle

Couples can make it through their divorce with dignity and without destroying one another, their children, and their finances.


More and more, people including family court judges and divorce attorneys are recommending mediation to divorcing couples. They realize that there is a much better way to divorce – it’s called mediation.


Rather than a courtroom battle with opposing attorneys, couples sit down with a mediator and create their own divorce agreement. They are encouraged to consult with other professionals along the way – this may include an attorney, accountant, financial planner, and counselor. 


Couples may decide to ask an accountant to review their finances and recommend an equitable division. Additionally, they may ask an attorney to review their final agreement – it’s up to the couple – they decide how to proceed.


Most of the time people facing divorce are hurt, afraid, and unsure how to proceed. The temptation may be to hire an attorney; thinking I’ll just let him/her handle it. I urge you to not act hastily in relinquishing your power over your situation and handing it over to the adversarial court system. 


Few if any are ever pleased with the judge’s decisions. Most feel devastated that the process did not go as they expected and sadly they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars and fueled considerable hostility and bitterness toward one another.


Even though you may be overcome with anger and fear – you can with the help of an experienced mediator create your own divorce agreement. After all, who is better qualified to decide matters like your parenting schedule, and how your assets and debt will be divided?


Moreover, as a result of your experience working out the terms of your agreement you will be much better equipped to co-parent your children successfully and resolve future disagreements in a constructive manner.

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~~ Things to Think About ~~ Approximately one million kids a year are affected by divorce.

What are the kids saying?

“Please make my parents stop fighting.” One child reportedly told his mother, "if I were dead then maybe you and dad would stop fighting over me."


Kids need to feel safe in knowing that they are free to love and spend time with both parents. They should not be held hostage to their parent’s conflict.


Psychology Research on Children of Divorce

There are two very strong factors that  influence children's post-divorce adjustment - they are exposure to parental conflict and quality of parenting. 


Research tells us that kids coming from high conflict families do not fare well. They are more likely to experience mental health problems.


What are Family Court Judges saying?

Many judges encourage mediation and sometimes require it in disputes that involve children.


“There, in that forty-foot-square courtroom, this couple would either fuse with their anger, resentment, and bitterness or follow a path leading to peace through wisdom, understanding, and eventually forgiveness. They were facing a fork in the road that would change their lives forever.” 

~ Family Court Judge, Chicago


“Family court is ‘a terrible place’ for parents to use to resolve their custody and access issues.”


“The whole justice system, including the family court system, is adversarial and is based on a win-lose mentality. But in family court there’s no winning, there’s only different degrees of losing, and the biggest losers are the children.”


This adversarial approach is “designed to make war not peace” says Brownstone, and more often than not parents come out of the family court system “more angry with each other and more unhappy than they were when they started the court case.” 

~ Family Court Judge, Toronto

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Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (Retired) Supreme Court, weighs in on litigation...

"Traditional litigation is a mistake that must be corrected... For some disputes, trials will be the only means, but for many claims trials by adversarial contest must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood. Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for really civilized people."

You Have Several Paths Before You... Choose Peace

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There Are Many Benefits to Choosing Mediation; You May Choose To:

  • Maintain dignity
  • Preserve your emotional health – reduce stress
  • Save precious time
  • Maintain control over your circumstances
  • Create an agreement that is best for your family
  • Avoid the uncertainty of the judge’s ruling
  • Save money (Mediation costs a fraction of opposing attorneys & litigation)
  • Better prepare for peaceful & constructive future communication (if you have children this is crucial)
  • Be a positive role model for your children
  • Put your children’s interest first in every decision! 

Your divorce may be inevitable, but its damaging effects can be minimized.