Peer mediation is a common technique used to settle many kinds of disputes, from problems in the classroom to issues in the workplace and many other cases as well. One of the areas where mediation is most commonly used is in cases of divorce. It can often be the best way to settle disputes and help both parties reach a mutually agreeable decision about the dissolution of their marriage.
The concept behind mediation is quite simple: a divorce generally springs up as the result of a conflict or disagreement between two parties. Mediation employs the use of a third party to help resolve such conflicts while allowing both parties to get their say and feel that they are being fairly treated. The different types of mediation approach the process in unique ways.
Facilitative mediation is the most common type. In this style of mediation, the mediator listens to both sides and makes informed suggestions based on years of professional knowledge. This is similar to standard peer mediation in that the mediator works with the parties on their own level; sometimes both parties are present together, other times the mediator meets with each party separately and brings the concerns of each to the other.
Another of the types of mediation is Evaluative mediation. In this case, the mediator has specific legal knowledge and may even be a lawyer. Again, the mediator hears the concerns of each party and gives legal advice as to how those concerns would likely stand up in court or the best way to represent them in court to work to everyone’s advantage.
In the third type of mediation, Transformative mediation, the two concerned parties meet together with the mediator and are encouraged to express their issues. Again, this has similarities to peer mediation in that the mediator helps to get each party to speak civilly and listen attentively in the hopes that the two can work out their differences together.
While there are subtle differences in the various types of mediation, the basic goal is always the same: to achieve an amicable resolution of the various issues a couple may have. The heart of any divorce is conflict between the two parties and in order to make a divorce less painful, enabling them to resolve that conflict peacefully is vital.
Unfortunately, our human nature can prevent us from easily reaching resolution, and that’s when peer mediation or some other kind of mediation can be very useful. Fighting tooth and nail and allowing divorce proceedings to become bitter and hateful does nobody any good and can be particularly harmful when children are involved. Mediation can help to avoid this kind of nastiness and achieve a peaceful, amicable solution for everyone involved.
Though it may not be possible to avoid a divorce, that doesn’t mean that you have to let the divorce process get the best of you. There are steps you can take to keep things moving in a positive direction even as you work to bring about the end of your marriage. If you are facing a divorce, you may want to seriously consider the idea of mediation and hopefully this process can benefit you as it has so many others.
The author of this blog is not an attorney and the information contained in these blogs should not be considered legal advice. The information provided here is based on the experience of the author and some of her clients whose actual names are not mentioned. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of an attorney if you have any legal questions.