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

5 Common Myths about Mediation

February 2, 2015  | 
Though mediation is a less contentious way to divorce, there are still some myths that keep people from taking advantage of the process. Here are 5 of the most common ones:

1.  Only people who agree on terms of settlement can mediate.
 
If that were true, there would be no need to mediate, and they could just enter into a settlement agreement. Of course, people who disagree can mediate, just like people who are angry can mediate and people who don’t really like each other can mediate.
 
The only agreement that both parties must make before starting mediation is to mediate. The mediator’s job is to facilitate the couple’s discussion so that each spouse is heard and understood, and the discussion is focused on resolutions that will satisfy each party’s interests.
 
2.  A couple can only mediate if they have equal power.
 
In a marriage, it is rare that both spouses have equal advocacy skills. In mediation, though, a party who needs help to advocate or make good decisions can get that help, be it from a lawyer, financial person or divorce coach.
 
If someone is lacking the capacity to advocate as a result of substance abuse or domestic violence, then only mediators with special training should undertake those matters, if at all.
 
3.  People who mediate don’t use lawyers, so their agreements are unfair.
 
First of all, the use of an attorney does not guarantee that an agreement is fair to both parties, nor for that matter, is a court determination always fair. To the contrary, in mediation, the parties are in control of all decisions that go into the final agreement. They make those decisions based upon a number of considerations, including their own ideas of fairness, the law, what works best for them and their family and how their decisions are likely to affect them in the future. Further, parties in mediation are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney and many do, in fact, see an attorney at the conclusion of the mediation, to review their settlement agreement.
 
4.  Mediation ignores the law so agreements will not be upheld.
 
Mediators provide legal information (not legal advice) to the parties, so the parties are aware of the law. It is then up to the parties to decide whether or not they want to apply the law or waive it. A knowing waiver of the law, such as a waiver of the Child Support Standards Act, will be upheld provided that the parties clearly understand what the law provides. 
 
5. Only people with few assets and low income can mediate.
 
This is simply not true. Many high-income, high-asset cases mediate for the very reasons that anyone wants to mediate – it is a process in which you work with your spouse and not against your spouse to resolve your issues in a way that is least harmful to the family; it is private; it is less costly; and it typically takes much less time than an adversarial process..
 

Confused about whether you should mediate or not? Please give us a call or leave a comment in the box below. We would be happy to answer your questions.

Comments from Social Media

"Excellent article, but I would emphasize that they should be "mediation-friendly attorneys."

Mark B. Baer

_________________________________________________________

Clare thank you for writing this! It is concise and well written. I will hope to post this information very soon

Denise Coggiola

_________________________________________________________

Bravo, Claire! I would add some of the "Pros" for choosing mediation: 1. It is a confidential settlement arrived out of court, not by a "stranger in the black robe" 2. A mediated MSA has mutually agreed upon decisions by both parties, following informed consent re their options. 3. Mediated agreements are more likely to be followed and stand the test of time, as opposed to litigated agreements that often require repeated visits to the courtroom for modification. 4. For families with children, the mediation process teaches co-parents how to successfully co-parent into the future, rather than continuing ti pull on opposite ends of the rope. Parties are taught "new scripts" to enhance their communication process, thus ensuring their children will not become collateral damage of the divorce battlefield.

Jann Glasser

_________________________________________________________

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

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

Email »

Comments
Maryann M
March 10, 2015 - 12:17 PM
Thank you for clarifying where mediation works with the law. After reading this post I could not imagine not going to mediation. Divorce is devastating but mediation is the perfect way to communicate without the harshness of lawyers just wanting a "win." Mediation is win-win for everyone. Thank you for another enlightening article.
Search
Topics
Mediation (81) | Divorce (75) | Divorce Mediation (20) | Mediator (13) | Conflict (9) | Litigation (8) | Child Support (8) | Separation Agreement (7) | Consultation (6) | Clare A. Piro Mediation (6) | Collaborative Divorce (6) | Clare A. Piro (6) | Communication (5) | Parenting Plan (5) | Co-Parenting (5) | Separation (5) | Children (4) | Family (4) | Attorney (4) | Finances (4) | Parenting (4) | Settlement (4) | Marital Assets (3) | Expenses (3) | Mediation Myths (3) | Equitable Distribution (3) | Clients (3) | Divorce Mediator (3) | Child Consultant (3) | Child Inclusive Mediation (3) | Divorce Finances (3) | Divorce And Children (3) | Clare Piro (3) | Child Support Standards Act (3) | Pandemic (2) | Relationships (2) | Legislation (2) | Marital Home (2) | CSSA (2) | Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) (2) | Truth (2) | Collaborative Practice (2) | Calculating Support (2) | Agreement (2) | Budgets (2) | Spouse (2) | Post-Divorce Income (2) | Equal Parenting Plan (2) | Bitterness (2) | Emotions (2) | Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) (2) | Financial Professional (2) | Anger (2) | Seperation (2) | Custody (2) | Listening (2) | Mediation Benefits (2) | Step-Mother (2) | Step-Father (2) | Step-Children (2) | Moving Forward (2) | Anxiety (2) | Settlement Agreements (2) | Conflict During Mediation (2) | Mediation Versus Litigation (2) | Couples (2) | Compromise (2) | Marital Property (2) | College Expenses (2) | Mediate (2) | Separate Property (2) | Unrequited Love (2) | Assets (2) | Informed Decisions (2) | Apology (2) | Dividing House Asset (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) (1) | Fiancé (1) | Equitable Distribution Statute (1) | But (1) | Apologizing (1) | Property Distribution (1) | Meditate (1) | Coronavirus (1) | Ex-Spouse (1) | Maintaining Calm (1) | Collaborative Process (1) | Cash Flow (1) | Attitudes Toward Prenups (1) | Divorce Assets (1) | Buyer (1) | Interest Payments (1) | Seller (1) | Telling Your Spouse (1) | Equity Loan (1) | Reluctant Spouse (1) | Frame Of Mind (1) | Marriage Counseling (1) | Refinance (1) | Patience (1) | Time To Process (1) | Post Nuptial (1) | PostNup (1) | Fear Of Separation (1) | Asset Distribution (1) | Lawyer (1) | Mental Health Professional (1) | Family Law Software (1) | Financial Information (1) | Financial Documents (1) | Emotional Attachment (1) | Court Process (1) | Negotiation (1) | Needs Vs Wants (1) | Court Vs Mediation (1) | Prenup (1) | Prenuptial Agreement (1) | Marital Concerns (1) | Entitlement (1) | Guilt (1) | Social Distancing (1) | Eldercare (1) | Transition Day (1) | 50/50 Parenting Plan (1) | An Advocate (1) | A Neutral (1) | Non-Residential Parent (1) | Child Support Payment (1) | NYs Child Support Guidelines (CSSA) (1) | Child's Best Interests (1) | Custody Determination (1) | Primary Caretaker (1) | Domestic Violence (1) | Older Parents (1) | Elder Mediation (1) | Older Adults (1) | Children And Divorce (1) | Tough Decisions (1) | Anxious Thoughts (1) | Pathological Liar (1) | Expectations (1) | Joseph Goldstein (1) | Feelings (1) | Intention (1) | New Year’s Resolutions (1) | Child Focused Mediation (1) | Mediating Emails (1) | Family Mediations (1) | Communicating (1) | Tone Of Voice (1) | On-Duty Parent Responsibilities (1) | Co-parenting (1) | Mediation Misconceptions (1) | Understood (1) | Complicated Finances (1) | FinancialPortfolio (1) | Multiple Assets (1) | Custody Disputes (1) | Matrimonial Cases (1) | Court Order (1) | COVID19 (1) | Global Pandemic (1) | Maggie O’Connor (1) | Remain Healthy (1) | Lack Of Communication (1) | Unhappy Relationship (1) | Heard (1) | Couples Counseling (1) | Parenting Schedules (1) | Power Of Regret (1) | Taking Responsibility (1) | Separating (1) | Divorce Agreement (1) | Holiday Season (1) | Parental Holiday Sharing (1) | Cultural Holidays (1) | Religious Holidays (1) | Mediating Onine (1) | Mediating Virtually (1) | Technical Difficulties (1) | Agreement To Mediate (1) | Caucus (1) | 50/50 Parenting (1) | Accepting Responsibility (1) | Dreaming (1) | Remarriage After Divorce (1) | Divorce Law (1) | Self-talk (1) | New York (1) | Budget (1) | Agreements (1) | Dogs (1) | Adopt Shelter Dogs (1) | Older Dogs (1) | Effects On Family (1) | Living Together (1) | Living Apart (1) | Baby Boomers (1) | Grandparents (1) | Abundance (1) | Blame (1) | Scarcity (1) | Resolution (1) | Marriage (1) | Summer (1) | Kids (1) | School Year (1) | Power (1) | Acknowledgement (1) | Conflicy (1) | Fall (1) | Extremes (1) | Payments (1) | Seperation Agreement (1) | Advice (1) | 2015 (1) | Responsibility (1) | Finding Love After Divorce (1) | Parenting Plans (1) | Parenting Post-Divorce (1) | Joint Physical Custody (1) | Moving On After Divorce (1) | Halloween (1) | Fear Of Divorce (1) | Scared Of Divorce (1) | Holiday Blues (1) | Holidays Post-Divorce (1) | Alone At The Holidays (1) | Consulting Attorney (1) | Post-Divorce Dating (1) | House (1) | Year In Review (1) | Equity (1) | Mental Health (1) | Specialist (1) | Relocation (1) | Change (1) | Difficult Clients (1) | Self-determination (1) | Self Determination (1) | New York State (1) | Control (1) | Balance (1) | Equality (1) | Mindfulness (1) | Unemployment (1) | Moving On (1) | Family Enrichment (1) | Little White Lies (1) | Intervention (1) | Custodial Parent (1) | Financial Situation (1) | Husband (1) | Wife (1) | Bankruptcy (1) | Affair (1) | Married (1) | Settlement Agreement (1) | Personal Relationships (1) | Public Trust (1) | Lies (1) | Dishonest (1) | Beneficiary (1) | Spouses (1) | Separation Agreements (1) | Work Stress (1) | Holiday Preparations (1) | Perfection (1) | Matrimonial Dispute (1) | LawyerDivorceMediation (1) | MediationSession (1) | FamilyMediation (1) | AttorneyPresence (1) | Blended Families (1) | Significant Other (1) | Attitudes (1) | Therapy (1) | Spousal Support (1) | Disclosure (1) | Divorce Papers (1) | Parents (1) | Contribution (1) | College (1) | Nesting (1) | Compassion (1) | Hurricane Harvey (1) | Married Couples (1) | Commingling (1) | Transmutation (1) | Maritial Property (1) | Maritial Assets (1) | Retirement Account (1) | Negative Communication (1) | Life Insurance (1) | Joint Decision Making (1) | Joint Legal Custody (1) | Installment Agreements (1) | Temporary Agreement (1) | Permanent Agreement (1) | Tentative Agreements (1) | Accusations Of Delay (1) | Lack Of Trust (1) | Financial Costs (1) | Joint Account (1) | Settle Agreement (1) | Divorce Coach (1) | Settlement Term (1) | Facial Expression (1) |
Connect
Close Announcement

Online Mediation Available

In response to COVID-19 I am providing family and divorce mediation services online. Click to learn more.