Why Mediation Could Be Your Marriage's Saving Grace
We all enter marriage with a commitment to lifelong couple hood, family, and partnership. Especially in the 21st century where marriage is no longer a necessity for survival, it’s a choice we make because we want to share our lives with someone special.
And today's married couples are right to assume their unions are stronger than those of the 80s and 90s. Despite claims that half of all marriages end in divorce, there's a debate about the actual state of legalized couple hood. The Journal of Marriage and Family reported in 2010 that 43 to 46 percent of unions would result in some kind of permanent separation, but a 2014 New York Times piece boldly challenged that decree.
Divorce is the last thing on the mind of a newly married couple.
What’s true is that most marriages appear to have a fighting chance of making it to a silver and golden anniversary. So why worry about divorce when marriages appear, for the most part, to be going strong?
The reality is that sometimes divorce or legal separation is the only option for reclaiming our happiness, self-preservation, and inspiration. And as painful as divorce can be, the only thing worse is not having a plan in place to help us through the process.
Think About Mediation Before You Need to Use It
When it comes to divorce, most of us assume that the best option for managing separation of assets and handling custody issues is to hire a lawyer to do the heavy lifting. But choosing to communicate solely through attorneys and litigators can lead to feelings of bitterness and complications in family life. In instances where both members in the relationship are still on good terms, it might be best to use a mediator instead.
Mediation can make the difficult process of divorce a little easier.
Benefits of Mediation Over Traditional Litigation
Unlike divorce, mediation does not involve litigation. That alone is a huge benefit—it can prompt both parties to bring all documents forward without trying to withhold information on assets or marital details. Because it’s a private affair absent of extreme in-depth court orders, the process is more relaxed and far less confrontational.
For those trying to maintain a positive relationship and their personal sanity mediation is clearly a win-win. It requires both participants behave maturely and able to reach an understanding between each other. Mediation also uses honesty and trust as the basis for success—they are the key elements used to create a deal on which both parties can agree. The mediator’s role is to ensure that both people remain satisfied with the results and are respectful of the other party’s position throughout the process.
It’s Cheaper to Keep Her…In Mediation
Not only can mediation be faster than divorce court, it can also me much less expensive. Although the actual process varies by state, having a mediator on hand to manage the process can make everything easier for everyone. Since trust and honesty are the foundation there’s plenty of room for negotiation—some couples may even uncover information that could make them reconsider the status of their relationship altogether.
Mediation can keep an amicable separation from turning into an ugly legal battle.
With statistics showing that most marriages have a fighting chance, it sure doesn’t hurt to consider all the options. Most couples want to do whatever it takes to protect their marriage, their families, and the lives they’ve built together. But if divorce or legal separation becomes a reality, we should consider as many tools as possible to help make the process as easy as possible.
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Article Sources: New York Times, Psychology Today