Deciding to Divorce or Separate? Think about Mediation
New York, February 20th, 2011
By Dana M. Greco and Don Desroches
Your marriage may be over and you’re thinking about getting separated or divorced, but do you really want to increase hostilities and battle it out with your spouse? If you each hire your own lawyers you may be in for a long fight whereby you both lose monetarily because lawyers charge by the hour. Your children will likely get caught in the crossfire and in the end nobody really benefits.
Typically in the more traditional sense the couple hires their own lawyer and each lawyer fights to get their client the most advantageous settlement. What tends to happen is that the division between the couple starts to deepen and hostilities increase. When this occurs, each party then tries to hurt the other party by getting the lawyers to act on their behalf in terms of legal battling. This option may be right for you if you have plenty of money and you want everyone in your family, including you, to have a lot less money because the lawyers charge by the hour. The more fighting you do, the more hours they get paid. Even if you and your spouse have the best of intentions in the beginning, fighting through a representative can make those intentions turn cold very quickly. Many times partners run to a lawyer for advice only to discover their situation has turned into a hostile adversarial nightmare, with lawyer’s fees skyrocketing. Taking the traditional route ends up being a long and lengthy painful experience, leaving one or both feeling angry, betrayed and financially exhausted. In addition, the children get caught up in the turmoil. When a client seeks counsel, the lawyer’s focus is to represent him or her and win, producing a win on one side and a loss on the other.
But there is another way….mediation
Mediation is a process where a third party individual works with the couple to come up with a win/win for both parties and produces a more amiable resolution……
Mediation professionals do not take sides. They navigate the discussion to find the best solution for parents, children and the family as a whole. Many times as the couple sit in mediation they tend to find new ways in thinking about their situation. The benefit is each party has a say in all decisions made about the family. Children perform better in school and have fewer behavior problems when they have both parents in their lives to support them both financially and emotionally. Mediation offers the opportunity for you and your ex to restructure a new relationship in order to co-parent with understanding and mutuality because the process did not become bitter, hostile or adversarial. As marriages end and the family remains. Mediation keeps you out of the courtroom. Decide for yourselves what is best for the children and you in the post divorce stage of your life.
What is important for the work is the process of engagement and trust on both the client and the therapist in order to move the work forward.
As we work together the freedom in the room allows for the openess and exploration to flow. This brings comfort and pleasure to discovering the hidden meanings of your story and perspectives. You will gain the insights that will contribute to your inner strength and therefore follow you while navigating through your life.
In addition to the mediation provided, The Mediation and Counseling Group sessions include a licensed professional Family Therapist keeping in mind the preservation and health of the entire family.
Dana M. Greco is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Family Therapist practicing on the Upper West Side in NYC. Don Desroches has several years experience in small, medium and large size organizations negotiating and mediating with small and large groups.