The Difference between Marital Mediation and Divorce Mediation
The difference between marital mediation and divorce mediation is fairly obvious. Divorce mediation involves working with an impartial divorce mediator and your spouse to arrive at an agreement when you decide to divorce. A couple who chooses marital mediation have decided to stay together and not divorce. A couple wants to work together to strengthen the marriage and avoid divorce. In divorce mediation, a couple looks to the mediator for help understanding the divorce process and reaching a divorce settlement. Couples interested in marital mediation are looking for a safe place to discuss problems in the marriage. Common problems are co-parenting differences, financial concerns, and sharing household responsibilities. Unlike marriage counseling, in marital mediation the focus is more on solving problems rather than rehashing the past and placing blame. Marital mediation focuses on practical solutions which are then put into a written agreement by the mediator.
Who is Marital Mediation For?
Marital mediation is for couples planning to marry, already married, and in some cases, couples contemplating divorce. Couples may have been through marriage counseling which proved unsuccessful to elicit the changes they each want to better the relationship. One or both spouses may be on the fence whether to divorce or stay together. Marital mediation is a process couples find more appealing than therapy or marriage counseling. In marital mediation the focus is on solutions and less on the emotional reasons behind their marital problems.
When the Status Quo in the Marriage No Longer Works
Many couples do not want to divorce, but the status quo no longer works. One or both spouses are just not happy. With marital mediation, the mediator helps the couple talk about what each wants and needs in the marriage. Common concerns raised during marital mediation can be parenting styles, spending habits, financial concerns, and saving for retirement. Sometimes called, relationship mediation, marital mediation with an attorney mediator is a place to problem solve. It is often not helpful to rehash the past where blame and anger becomes the focus. The mediator will guide the couple away from the negative and toward more positive solutions.
The Role of the Mediator in Marital Mediation
The mediator helps facilitate discussion and create a safe environment where a couple can be open and honest with one another about the marriage. A couple discusses their concerns and arrives at solutions and goals to better the marriage. Now it is time to put everything in writing. Having a written document shows commitment and each spouse’s investment in a healthier and happier marriage. The mediator will prepare a legal document where both spouses commit to changing behaviors and reaching common goals to improve the relationship. The couple will memorialize their goals and “asks” in writing, providing a road map when problems arise in the future.
Marital Mediation and Divorce
Despite best efforts, some couples will eventually choose to divorce. Having gone through marital mediation, their divorce may be less acrimonious. If the couple ultimately chooses to divorce, they are generally more amicable and aware of why the marriage did not work without placing blame. Marital mediation helped them frame issues, improve their communication and each spouse is better able to listen to the concerns of the other spouse. The benefits of marital mediation will make for a more positive experience when they do eventually separate and divorce.
If you have any questions or would like to meet with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys, contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or email JMaya@mayalaw.com or SWakefield@mayalaw.com. We offer free consultations with all of our skilled attorneys in all areas of legal practice. Marital Mediation is a new service offered by our firm. Contact us today to learn more about our legal services.