Divorce is difficult for most if not all couples in some way. However, couples that divorce amiably will often have a much easier time than couples with high amounts of tension and negative emotions between them.
In such divorces, it is possible to turn toward mediation instead of litigation. When choosing mediation, it is important to know what mediators can and cannot do.
Why do people avoid mediation?
Forbes discusses ways to stay out of court, including relying on a mediator. Mediators have specific goals and duties they perform. However, many misunderstandings exist regarding what a mediator’s duties are.
For example, some people want to avoid mediation because they falsely believe that all mediators are therapy counselors. A mediator is not trying to get a couple to get back together or stay together. Their job is to facilitate the divorce discussions between a couple and ensure they reach a goal they can compromise on.
Other people believe they can simply leave things in the hands of the mediators, and that the mediators will make all the important decisions for them.
What mediators can and cannot do
Again, this is not true. Mediators do not have powers like judges or arbitrators. They cannot legally decide anything for a couple, nor can they force a couple to adopt their opinions or suggestions into the couple’s divorce plans.
Mediators simply exist in a divorce situation to guide conversations, ensure everyone speaks their piece, and de-escalate any arguments that start before they get out of hand.
They may also offer opinions and suggestions, which are valuable due to their neutral position. This is why many opt for mediation in the first place.