914.946.0848  .  contact  .  map & directions  .  subscribe  .  LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+

Why Do Divorcing Couples Mediate?

December 6, 2016  | 
Why Do Divorcing Couples Mediate? by Clare Piro

{3:18 minutes to read} After my initial mediation training, I developed a sense of why I thought clients would choose to mediate their divorce. Since I was so invigorated by the knowledge of this amazing process, I assumed they would choose to mediate because they wanted to engage in a process in which they could learn how to communicate their interests to each other and then brainstorm creative resolutions to meet those interests in a collaborative and non-adversarial setting.

When I actually began working with my own clients, needless to say, I was a little disappointed to learn that the primary reason the vast majority of my clients gave for mediating their divorce was to lessen their costs. Not that I minimized the fact that cost is a very legitimate reason to mediate, but I unrealistically expected that clients would recite those same lofty reasons as caused me to choose to no longer practice in an adversarial setting and become a mediator.

Of course, most clients, in addition to reduced costs, would also provide some of these reasons as to why they chose to mediate:

  • They wanted a speedier process.
  • They didn’t want to deal with matrimonial lawyers.
  • They wanted to make their own decisions and exercise control over the process.
  • They wanted to avoid conflict now and in the future.
  • And, most importantly, they wanted to minimize the harm to their relationship and to their family.

I also learned their reason(s) depended on when I asked the question. At an initial consultation or at the beginning of the process, cost might be one very significant, if not the sole, motivation. That makes sense, because without really understanding how mediation works, it may be difficult to understand the benefits, like the:

  • Informality of the process;
  • Desire to focus on the future rather than on blame for past actions;
  • Desire to honor their past lives and shared time together; and
  • Wish to preserve goodwill and to understand what was important to the other and why.

And while the motivation to mediate may initially be monetary, it can also change and develop over the process as clients understand the full benefits.

Whatever the particular motivations of the couple or whenever the question of motivation arises in the process, they should be discussed initially and throughout the mediation. When a difficult conflict arises and the parties are ready to give up, a reminder from the mediator as to why they are there and what they hoped to achieve can help get past that hurdle.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

Email »

Comments
Charlotte C
December 8, 2016 - 10:17 AM
There are a number of important insights here, and so clearly expressed. Your point about motives and intentions changing over time is so true, and is a reflection of how different mediation is from more adversarial processes. I would love to learn more about the long term impacts, if any, of mediation clients' experience of new ways of negotiating and handling conflict. My experience is also that people are often not very self aware during the times of crisis, and that most people are not aware of process as separate from their own experience. As mediators we are so focused on process and analysis that we can easily forget that most people do not share out world view -- and don't need to!

Search
Topics
Mediation (142) | Divorce (132) | Separation (49) | Divorce Mediation (20) | Mediator (13) | Communication (11) | Litigation (11) | Child Support (11) | Separation Agreement (10) | Conflict (10) | Co-Parenting (8) | Consultation (7) | Collaborative Divorce (7) | Prenup (7) | Attorney (7) | Parenting (7) | Parenting Plan (6) | Marital Home (6) | Clare A. Piro (6) | Clare A. Piro Mediation (6) | Marital Assets (5) | Children (5) | Equitable Distribution (5) | Separate Property (5) | Assets (5) | Child Support Standards Act (4) | Agreement (4) | Marital Property (4) | Settlement (4) | Finances (4) | Financial Professional (4) | Divorce Coach (4) | Expenses (4) | Family (4) | CSSA (4) | Estate Documents (3) | Divorce Finances (3) | Prenuptial Agreement (3) | Informed Decisions (3) | Clients (3) | Divorce Mediator (3) | Responsibility (3) | Divorce And Children (3) | Relationships (3) | Listening (3) | Emotions (3) | Clare Piro (3) | Joint Decisions (3) | Negotiation (3) | Spousal Trust (3) | Divorce Agreement (3) | Family Court (3) | Child Consultant (3) | Mediation Myths (3) | Blended Families (3) | Mediation Benefits (3) | Child Inclusive Mediation (3) | Compromise (3) | Equal Parenting Plan (2) | College Expenses (2) | Selling The Marital Home (2) | Fairness (2) | Moving Forward (2) | Apology (2) | Guilt (2) | Estate (2) | Anxiety (2) | Law Professionals (2) | CDFA (2) | Entitlement (2) | Budgets (2) | New York Child Support Statute (2) | Humanity (2) | Grace (2) | Attitude (2) | Parent Coordinator (2) | Right Of Election (2) | Mediate (2) | Spousal Support (2) | Pandemic (2) | Will (2) | Inheritance (2) | Joint Decision Making (2) | Spouse (2) | Surviving Spouse (2) | Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) (2) | Separation Agreements (2) | Collaborative Practice (2) | Settlement Agreements (2) | Anger (2) | Unrequited Love (2) | Budget (2) | Step-Mother (2) | Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) (2) | Agreements (2) | Post-Divorce Income (2) | Consulting Attorney (2) | Step-Children (2) | Calculating Support (2) | Truth (2) | Change (2) | Step-Father (2) | Custody (2) | Conflict During Mediation (2) | Couples (2) | Bitterness (2) | Seperation (2) | Trust Issues (2) | Legislation (2) | Mediation Versus Litigation (2) | Empowerment (1) | Honest Conversation (1) | Family Occasions (1) | Fault Assessment (1) | Emotional Readiness (1) | Regret Avoidance (1) | Asset Division (1) | DecisionMaking (1) | Mediation Break (1) | Advocacy (1) | CoParenting (1) | Opposites (1) | Separate Property Credit (1) | Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) (1) | Judge (1) | Pro-Rata (1) | Support Add-ons (1) | Realty Testing (1) | Bonuses (1) | Commissions (1) | Income Level (1) | Actuarial Company (1) | Pension (1) | Personality (1) | Alternative Dispute Resolution (1) | ADR (1) | Presumptive ADR Program (1) | New York Family Court (1) | Family Court Presumptive ADR Program (1) | Parenting Styles (1) | Coparenting (1) | Perspective (1) | Retirement Plans (1) | Legal Rights (1) | Mediation Caucus (1) | Financial Changes (1) | Domestic Violence (1) | Pathological Liar (1) | Anxious Thoughts (1) | Tough Decisions (1) | Separation Process (1) | Older Adults (1) | Eldercare (1) | Elder Mediation (1) | Older Parents (1) | Primary Caretaker (1) | Joseph Goldstein (1) | Custody Determination (1) | Child's Best Interests (1) | NYs Child Support Guidelines (CSSA) (1) | Child Support Payment (1) | Non-Residential Parent (1) | A Neutral (1) | An Advocate (1) | Divorce Journey (1) | Expectations (1) | Feelings (1) | High-Conflict Divorce (1) | Waiving Spousal Support (1) | Pensions (1) | Retirement (1) | Court (1) | COVID 19 (1) | Lack Of Focus (1) | Thrive (1) | Depression (1) | Languish (1) | Postnuptial Agreements (1) | Intention (1) | New York’s Child Support And Maintenance (1) | Facial Expression (1) | Tone Of Voice (1) | Communicating (1) | Family Mediations (1) | Mediating Emails (1) | Child Focused Mediation (1) | Mediation Success (1) | New Year’s Resolutions (1) | Pension Plans (1) | Ideas (1) | Decision Making (1) | Daniel Pink (1) | Children Of Divorce (1) | Interest Rates (1) | Real Estate (1) | Regrets In Life (1) | Self Compassion (1) | Biggest Regrets In Life (1) | Holding On To Regrets (1) | Self Reflection (1) | Separate Living Without Divorce (1) | Inflation (1) | Meditation (1) | Rights Of Inheritance (1) | Separate Asset (1) | Marital Asset (1) | New Year Resolutions (1) | Learning From The Past (1) | Short-term Marriage Divorce (1) | Impartiality (1) | Regrets (1) | Buyout (1) | Consulting (1) | New York Divorce Law (1) | Speak Up (1) | Introducing Significant Others (1) | Concession (1) | Lowest Acceptable Offer (1) | Spousal Support Payments (1) | Real Estate And Divorce (1) | Joint Ownership Post Divorce (1) | Active Listening (1) | Financial Professionals (1) | Partial Buyout (1) | Post Divorce Budgets (1) | Financial Impropriety (1) | Spousal Infidelity (1) | Credit Against Child Support (1) | Real Estate Buyout (1) | Unfaithful Spouse (1) | Buyout Options (1) | Review Attorney (1) | Mediation Friendly Attorney (1) | Objective Standards In Mediation (1) | Divorce Terms (1) | Kirsten Powers (1) | Happiness (1) | File A Petition (1) | Parent Coordinator (PC) (1) | Final Decisions (1) | Compromise In Agreements (1) | Needs And Interests (1) | Well-being (1) | Child Wellbeing (1) | Contentment (1) | AcceptableOutcome (1) | Unmarried (1) | Mediation Process (1) | Matrimonial Practice (1) | Kindness (1) | Righteous Anger (1) | Disagreements (1) | Significant Others (1) | Beliefs (1) | Saving Grace By Kirsten Powers (1) | Emotional Trauma (1) | Cohabitating (1) | Divorce Agreement Terms (1) | Ovarian Cancer (1) | Postnup (1) | Default Provisions (1) | Divorce Agreements (1) | Support (1) | Hope (1) | Fairness Evaluation (1) | Breast Cancer (1) | Objective Standards (1) | Support Connection (1) | Cohabitation Agreement (1) | Cancer (1) | Successful Mediations (1) | Commitment (1) | Being Understood (1) | Being Heard (1) | Divorce Needs (1) | Collaboration (1) | Decision Makers (1) | Child-focused (1) | Parenting Agreement (1) | Maintaining Calm (1) | 50/50 Parenting Plan (1) | College (1) | Retirement Account (1) | Maritial Assets (1) | Maritial Property (1) | Transmutation (1) | Commingling (1) | Married Couples (1) | Hurricane Harvey (1) | Compassion (1) | Nesting (1) | Contribution (1) | Negative Communication (1) | Parents (1) | Disclosure (1) | Moving On (1) | Unemployment (1) | Seperation Agreement (1) | Payments (1) | Extremes (1) | Fall (1) | Conflicy (1) | Divorce Papers (1) | Joint Legal Custody (1) | Power (1) | Beneficiary (1) | Affair (1) | Bankruptcy (1) | Wife (1) | Husband (1) | Financial Situation (1) | Custodial Parent (1) | Intervention (1) | Dreaming (1) | Therapy (1) | Life Insurance (1) | Installment Agreements (1) | Settlement Term (1) | Settle Agreement (1) | Joint Account (1) | Financial Costs (1) | Lack Of Trust (1) | Accusations Of Delay (1) | Tentative Agreements (1) | Permanent Agreement (1) | Temporary Agreement (1) | Acknowledgement (1) | School Year (1) | Settlement Agreement (1) | Post-Divorce Dating (1) | Self Determination (1) | Self-determination (1) | Difficult Clients (1) | Relocation (1) | Specialist (1) | Mental Health (1) | Equity (1) | House (1) | Finding Love After Divorce (1) | Alone At The Holidays (1) | Control (1) | Holidays Post-Divorce (1) | Holiday Blues (1) | Scared Of Divorce (1) | Fear Of Divorce (1) | Halloween (1) | Moving On After Divorce (1) | Joint Physical Custody (1) | Parenting Post-Divorce (1) | Parenting Plans (1) | New York State (1) | Balance (1) | Kids (1) | Living Together (1) | Summer (1) | Marriage (1) | Resolution (1) | Scarcity (1) | Abundance (1) | Divorce Law (1) | Grandparents (1) | Baby Boomers (1) | Living Apart (1) | Effects On Family (1) | Equality (1) | Older Dogs (1) | Adopt Shelter Dogs (1) | Dogs (1) | New York (1) | Self-talk (1) | Advice (1) | Blame (1) | 2015 (1) | Year In Review (1) | Mindfulness (1) | Married (1) | Personal Relationships (1) | Transition Day (1) | Complicated Finances (1) | Returning To The Workforce (1) | Social Security Assets In Divorce (1) | Holiday Co-Parenting (1) | COVID19 (1) | Court Order (1) | Matrimonial Cases (1) | Custody Disputes (1) | Multiple Assets (1) | FinancialPortfolio (1) | Mediation Misconceptions (1) | Global Pandemic (1) | Social Distancing (1) | Coronavirus (1) | Meditate (1) | Property Distribution (1) | Equitable Distribution Statute (1) | Apologizing (1) | But (1) | Fiancé (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) (1) | Career Change (1) | Maggie O’Connor (1) | Attitudes Toward Prenups (1) | Mediating Onine (1) | On-Duty Parent Responsibilities (1) | Children And Divorce (1) | Co-parenting (1) | Parenting Schedules (1) | 50/50 Parenting (1) | Caucus (1) | Agreement To Mediate (1) | Technical Difficulties (1) | Mediating Virtually (1) | Religious Holidays (1) | Remain Healthy (1) | Cultural Holidays (1) | Parental Holiday Sharing (1) | Holiday Season (1) | Separating (1) | Power Of Regret (1) | Couples Counseling (1) | Understood (1) | Heard (1) | Unhappy Relationship (1) | Lack Of Communication (1) | Collaborative Process (1) | Asset Distribution (1) | Public Trust (1) | FamilyMediation (1) | Dividing House Asset (1) | Ex-Spouse (1) | Accepting Responsibility (1) | Taking Responsibility (1) | Remarriage After Divorce (1) | Family Enrichment (1) | Attitudes (1) | Significant Other (1) | AttorneyPresence (1) | MediationSession (1) | Divorce Assets (1) | LawyerDivorceMediation (1) | Matrimonial Dispute (1) | Perfection (1) | Holiday Preparations (1) | Work Stress (1) | Spouses (1) | Dishonest (1) | Little White Lies (1) | Lies (1) | Emotional Attachment (1) | Refinance (1) | Marital Concerns (1) | PostNup (1) | Court Vs Mediation (1) | Needs Vs Wants (1) | Court Process (1) | Financial Documents (1) | Financial Information (1) | Family Law Software (1) | Mental Health Professional (1) | Lawyer (1) | Fear Of Separation (1) | Post Nuptial (1) | Equity Loan (1) | Time To Process (1) | Patience (1) | Marriage Counseling (1) | Frame Of Mind (1) | Reluctant Spouse (1) | Telling Your Spouse (1) | Seller (1) | Buyer (1) | Cash Flow (1) | Interest Payments (1) | Financial Planning (1) |
Connect
Close Announcement

Online Mediation Available

I am providing family and divorce mediation services online. Click to learn more.