Why Divorce Mediation Works

December 4th, 2011 Posted in Mediation


Divorce mediation clients soon learn that there are wide varieties of financial and parenting resolutions that could be incorporated into their divorce decree. Mediation clients are encouraged to focus on many possible alternatives. This is quite different from the focus developed by the clients who choose to litigate their cases in the courts. Litigants tend to focus on developing the best possible resolution for themselves and to focus all of their attention and legal fees on getting exactly that. It isn’t until months or years into the litigation that they are forced to face the fact that the resolution that they formulated is not going to be the end result.

During the mediation process, each spouse has an opportunity to examine the best and worst possible resolutions for each of them and at least initially to put some parameters around the unknown.

Because they are in direct communication with each other throughout the process, they don’t have to fear being unprepared to address previously unknown demands during court proceedings.

Through mediation, both spouses become keenly aware of the fact that they are in a much better position to create a resolution of their divorce issues than to allow a court to do it for them.


Divorcing spouses always have some common interests and goals. In particular they both want to get through the divorce process in a way that minimizes the financial and emotional pain. Most people want to do the right thing in dealing with their former partner and more oft en than not do not want to cause their soon-to-be ex-spouse unnecessary pain.

They also almost always have concerns about minimizing any trauma to their children.

Divorcing spouses also always have some unique interests and goals that need to be communicated to the other, if such unique interests and goals are to be considered in crafting a resolution.

Mediation brings couples together with a trained professional who teaches them how to communicate and how to develop such goals. A good mediator will show them how to notice their emotions and their bodies’ reactions to the various options being explored during the mediation process. The mediator will then assist them in using this information to clarify and further explore what should be included in any resolution or settlement. It is through this kind mutual mindful communication that good resolutions evolve.


It is usually when each spouse gets in touch with their own interests and goals, and with those of the other, that they are able to use their joint creativity to develop unique resolutions.

Through the mediation process, couples learn to reframe the divorce process from being a way of dealing with a terrible loss to an opportunity for personal growth and evolution. Once this bridge is crossed, creative solutions quickly surface.

Ora Schwartzberg is a divorce attorney/mediator with offices in New Hampshire. She has recently published a book, Divorce Mediation from the Inside Out – A mindful approach to divorce. The book is available at her website http://www.nhlawyer.net or from all major booksellers.

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