Monday, April 21, 2008

The Motivation to Mediate (or Collaborate)

Are you sure that you want to mediate or engage in the collaborative process? Is this a process that makes sense for you and your partner? If so, why?

People come to mediation for many different reasons. Some want to keep things private, and avoid as much of a public record of their divorce as possible.

Others want a chance to tell their whole story, which they know they would not get to do in court or in a process of legal negotiations. To them, it is most important to be heard.

To some, keeping control of the decision-making is important. They don’t want outsiders (judges or lawyers) imposing judgments or determinations on them. They feel that they know themselves, their children and their situation best, and are therefore in the best place to make decisions.

Some people see the adversary system as just making things worse between the parties. They want to protect themselves and their children from the inherent tensions in separating, and want to minimize the hostility between them.

Others simply want to save money, and see both mediation and the collaborative process as an efficient way to keep costs down. Or they think they could get a better deal if they avoided going to court.

What makes you want to give this a try? What do you think appeals to your partner/ex? Whatever the reason, it is best to be up front about it – with yourself, with the other person, with the mediator. That gives you something to judge the process against as you go along. Is this helping you achieve that goal?

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