Marital and Divorce Mediation

Marital and Divorce Mediation

Marital Mediation is an option for couples that may be considering divorce mediation. Sometimes either one or both of the parties considering divorce mediation would prefer to preserve the marriage. Marital mediation is different from divorce mediation and couples counseling, and can be a useful tool for couples who wish to avoid divorce.

What is marital mediation?

Marital mediation is a process similar to divorce mediation in that a neutral third party mediator helps the couple make decisions together. Unlike divorce mediation, however, the goal is to preserve the marriage, rather than to end it. The mediator helps the couple acknowledge their desire to maintain their marriage and works to lessen the conflicts endangering the marriage and hopefully avoid divorce.

Who is a candidate for marital mediation?

Any couple seeking improved communication can benefit from marital mediation. Generally couples with discreet issues creating conflict, such as varying styles of handling finances or childrearing can use marital mediation most effectively.
How does marital mediation compare with couples counseling? Unlike couples counseling, marital mediation is mostly about making behavioral changes to improve the marriage, rather than creating internal changes in the parties through improved self awareness. While there is often some overlap between the two processes, marital mediation is usually more forward looking than couples counseling.

How does marital mediation work?

Marital mediation begins by having the parties identify the issues that are causing problems between them. Sometimes the parties are clear about the issues involved, and other times there is a general dissatisfaction that needs to be discussed to discern the problems involved.

Once the issues have been identified, each party is asked to express what he or she wants to accomplish through marital mediation.

  • Discussions between the parties and the mediator can result in an increased openness to hearing each other’s opinions, even when they disagree with them.
  • Parties’ communication skills can improve as they develop the tools needed to negotiate with each other in the future.What is the result of marital mediation?

Oftentimes parties will come away with a written agreement setting forth behavioral changes each party will make to improve their relationship. Sometimes the agreement provides for consequences for failure to comply with the agreement. In other cases, the parties do not actually put their agreements on paper, but come away with a mutual understanding that will hopefully help them avoid divorce mediation in the future. The process of marital mediation, which creates improved communication, is sometimes more important than the resulting agreement

About Vicki Volper

I am a divorce attorney in Westport who empowers people to divorce in a manner that maintains their dignity, preserves their assets and protects their children.
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