Traditionally, when couples decide to divorce and things get “heated up”, they turn to lawyers and the court system to help them come up with a resolution. It becomes a battlefield over getting custody of their children, paying child support or deciding who is going to keep the house. This can lead to an expensive and emotionally damaging process. And unfortunately, it is usually the kids that get the worst of it.
The good news is that there is another way! Mediation is being used more than ever before to help people navigate a successful divorce.
However, there are still some misunderstandings about what exactly mediation is and how it works. People may think of it as a touchy-feely type of process. Or they believe they will get a lesser deal than if they go to court. Mediation is really about clear communication and figuring out a fairer outcome for those involved.
Here are 7 Myths about Divorce Mediation:
1) Mediation won’t work for us because every time my spouse and I try to talk we end up in an argument.
This is where a professional mediator comes in. They can help make your conversations more productive, respectful and focused while managing emotions.
2) Mediation is like therapy or counselling.
Mediators act as facilitators or guides. They will assist you in resolving your conflicts and help you to deal with all of your issues. They can provide you with legal information or guidance about child development. They do not provide therapy or counselling.
3) Mediation is not supported by the courts.
More and more Judges are asking people to try mediation in order to settle their differences especially when children are involved. Some jurisdictions have legislation that require people to use mediation before they will be allowed a trial. Court should be the last resort.
4) I will lose everything in mediation because my spouse intimidates me and always convinces me to do what they want.
Professional mediators are trained to help balance conversations in mediation. Each person gets “airtime” and the mediator assists each person to be heard.
5) Going to court is the best way for me to fight for my kids.
Parents want to do everything they can to protect their children. Going to court about custody often ends up with the kids being put in the middle.
6) The mediator will make decisions for us.
A professional mediator is impartial and does not take sides or make decisions for you. They help you to see each other’s point of view and assist you to come to rational decisions on your own.
7) I will still need to hire a lawyer to help us divide our property?
In mediation, all assets and debts are taken into consideration and a final settlement can be reached.
Clearing up these misconceptions can lead the way to more people using mediation as a successful alternative when negotiating their divorce. Saving time and money, being more flexible and reducing stress makes mediation a viable and realistic option. This do-it-yourself process can lead to better solutions and a higher level of satisfaction, helping families get through this transition in a more peaceful manner.
If you would like to discuss your separation or divorce needs, feel to contact us at 780-417-3119 or visit our website at www.garneaumediation.ca. We offer a 20 minute no-charge, no-obligation phone consultation that remains confidential.