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Can a Divorce Mediator Truly Be Neutral?

Better Divorce LLC mediator
by Kristen Hilty

When you are going through a divorce, we all think we are right and our spouse is wrong. Our families think we’re right…our friends assure us we are right. Guess what! Your spouse thinks the same thing. You probably think there’s no way a judge would ever disagree with you and your expert attorney. Guess what! Your spouse thinks the same thing.

Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?

It’s not the job of a mediator to judge whether either of you is right or wrong. When you know the marriage is over and you just want to move on with your life…Does it even matter anymore who was right or who was wrong? Or do you want to find a way that you can both move on with a clear plan for your future? And do you want a stranger deciding that for you, or would you like to come up with your own solutions but can’t seem to have productive conversations on your own? It turns out that a mediator is the best person in a position to facilitate that. You may actually find some understanding of your spouse’s opinions through the mediation process…you don’t have to agree with them…but understanding where someone else is coming from can be pretty powerful when negotiating. You may actually find out that things you were fighting for aren’t even things you care about…you just wanted to “win”.

A mediator can take some time understanding why each of you feel the way you do about different aspects of a settlement and the challenges each of you are facing as you try to restructure your life. A mediator is there to help YOU do the best you can to make sure the final settlement takes care of both of you and your needs.

We’ve all heard “I will get my day in court”. Ask yourself if that’s really what you want when in reality, it’s a stranger deciding your future based on a fraction of information they get to see and hear. Sadly, because of our over-loaded and burdened court system, most judges do not have the time to look and the whole picture and get to know the people behind the caseload. As a matter of fact, your attorney only has a limited amount of information they can even submit for the judge to consider. Now throw in COVID-19! Most trials are not even happening in person. Imagine the challenge these judges are facing with a limited amount of information over technology! Is this really the road you want to spend your time and money on?

What Is Really Important

Mediation will give you the chance to focus on the things that are really important to you and your spouse – and you are the best person to speak about your life and your needs. No expert knows your life as well as you and your spouse do. Let’s face it…no hired expert will care as much as you do. When you leave a courtroom your attorney and the judge do not have to live with the decision. You do. The mediator doesn’t have to live with your decisions either, but at least you have the opportunity to create your own solutions that YOU will have to live with.

A mediator is not there to judge anything or make decisions FOR you or even give you advice. In fact, they’re not allowed. But they are there to encourage compromise, keep you on track with only productive conversation, and bring up ideas you may not have previously thought about while remaining neutral. Using a mediator that is also a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor (CDFA®), will also ensure that each party is on equal footing when it comes to understanding the financial impacts of any solutions you may be considering.

If avoiding a drawn out and expensive process where a stranger is making your decisions sounds like what you are looking for, or if you have any questions on the options available to you, please contact Better Divorce Solutions for a free consultation.

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