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Mediation in Divorce: Are You Fighting Over the Laundry Basket?

Even in the best of circumstances, the debate over who gets what can often become an emotional boiling point when you're facing divorce. Suddenly, the box of CDs you haven't listened to in years is a prized posession. The scratched and dented end table is full of memories and both of you decide you want it. Even the laundry basket can become a source of debate. Is that last object really important? Almost never. That last object becomes a symbol. The reality hits one or both of you:  once that last object's fate has been determined, the marriage is theoretically over.

This is a great reason to use mediation. What is mediation?  Mediation is an effort to search and discover what compromises may exist in a case. In a divorce case, you and your future ex (and your lawyers) meet with a neutral 3rd party called the mediator. The mediator is NOT the judge. The mediator does not care who is "right" and who is "wrong". The mediator's sole purpose is to assist in exploration of the issues and possible compromises. The mediator can help keep the laundry basket a laundry basket...and, at the same time, create a positive outcome for all.

Mediation is a wonderful tool that can be used in most every domestic case to get the case resolved, or at the very least, moved further down the road to resolution. In fact, in most domestic cases, mediation is REQUIRED by the court before you can have a trial.

Who, what, where, and how mediation occurs can differ from one county to the next, so it is helpful to contact an attorney who regularly practices in the county your case is being processed.

One of the greatest parts of mediation is that it gives you the opportunity to shape the final decision (Court Order) that you will be operating under going forward. If the case does not get resolved outside of court and a trial is required, the Judge will issue a ruling and, frankly, will not care if you like it.

Mediation can be a lengthy process taking multiple hours. Often, it can feel like the effort is leading nowhere and then all of a sudden, the ground shifts ever so slightly and where was once nothing but discord, an agreement is born.

In the end, divorce happens.  Using a mediator to facilitate the smoothest transition, help diffuse the emotional boiling points and shape the future of your family is a win-win-win for all.

- David Purvis

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