Many couples going through divorce choose not to go the route of mediation based on a plethora of misconceptions. If you are going through a divorce in the state of California, please take some time to learn the facts and displace the myths before you decide that mediation is not for you.
Mediation is an opportunity for the mediator to educate both spouses on the issues, which is also empowering.
Mediation Myth #1
Men Fare Better than Women
It is a common misconception that men fare better than women in mediation. For one reason or another, some people believe that women know less about the marital finances and are also more likely to settle on certain issues in an effort to keep the peace.
In situations like this, it is extremely important for both parties to stand their ground. You should also have confidence in your mediator and know that they are trained to be a neutral facilitator that will not side with either party regardless of gender.
Mediation Myth #2
In Mediation, One Spouse Can Intimidate the Other
Mediation is an opportunity for the mediator to educate both spouses on the issues, which is also empowering. One of the biggest advantages to divorce mediation is that the two individuals learn to communicate post-divorce.
Therefore, mediation is not about one person overpowering the other; it’s about both spouses having an equal say. Again, have confidence that your mediator will keep things fair and neutral.
Mediation Myth #3
It’s Only for Couples That Want to Get Back Together
Divorce mediation is not counseling; it facilitates communication and allows you to get divorced and move on with your life. If one spouse goes into a mediation hoping for a reconciliation, the mediator is likely to work with that spouse on making decisions as a single person.
Mediation Myth #4
Mediation is Impossible if You Aren’t Speaking to One Another
It is a fact that the majority of couples going through a divorce are not communicating well with one another. For this reason, a mediator has been trained in alternative dispute resolutions and knows how to work with two people at odds. They will implement the skills that they have learned and will do their very best to get the most out of all communication. But remember, you and your spouse will have to speak with one another in order to make mediation successful.
Mediation Myth #5
Mediation is Only for People That Are Already Divorced
Mediation is a legal tool that can be used in almost any type of case. That means a couple can go through mediation before, during, and after marriage. The result is a voluntary settlement and a chance for couples to guarantee that they have more authority with their future.
Mediation Myth #6
You Can Settle a Case With Just Your Lawyer
It’s true; you can settle your divorce with your two attorneys or with a judge. However, mediation may be less costly in the end and is settled in a truly “best interest” manner. After you and your spouse come to an agreement, your lawyer will still be able to review the document and ensure your interests are covered.
Mediation Myth #7
Complex Divorces Have to Go Through the Court
Despite what you may think, any divorce that could be heard in court can be mediated. Even the most complicated financial issues can be worked out with a mediator.
Your divorce lawyer will help you prepare for mediation, including the issues involved in complex legal, financial, and emotional issues. If you want to reduce your attorney fees even further, you can look into an “unbundled” lawyer. This simply means that the attorney only coaches you on the specific issues you ask about and does not manage the entire case.
Mediation can be more cost effective and can be more beneficial for all of the parties involved. Call Bohm Wildish & Matsen to have their experienced and compassionate attorneys assist you with all of your mediation questions and concerns.