I can’t lie, divorce turns people into ugly human beings, which makes any divorce an ugly battle, resulting in longer and more court time and not to mention greater expense. The ugliness comes because each spouse is trying to “win” their side. They are not focused on what is reasonable, but rather on how they can win over the other person. My suggestion is to focus on your relationship with the person you are divorcing or separating. There must have been some good times and if you have children, think about their best interest, not yours . Surely, the other person was not that bad. Of course, this suggestion would not apply in situations of violence.
In general most divorces are as a result of no longer getting along, no longer enjoying the other person’s habits and yes, the occasional, “I could no longer stand their snoring.” This is why California has the simple process of a no-fault divorce. But let’s get back to the relationship. Wouldn’t you agree, that by working together instead of against each other would make the divorce/separation process way easier?
As a mediator, I’ve learned that what is key to any relationship is communication and active listening. Active listening is harder to do than you think. It involves keeping silent until the other person is done talking, only then do you validate what that person is saying. Validating means you acknowledge what they are saying. You understand their feelings and concerns. This process can take time, especially if you have never tried it before. However, the more you do it, you will start to notice the other person lowering their guard, they will begin to do the same validating for you and you will also start to feel better. This is when productive problem solving can be achieved. It may not necessarily repair your marriage, but it can help to work out a suitable parenting agreement for the sake of the children or an agreeable distribution of marital property.
The process of mediation can take time, but it is very valuable as it helps heal the relationship. Mediation has a growing success rate of 85% and is growing, which means relationships are in fact being repaired. Again, this is not to say you will not go forward with your dissolution, but it can sure make it a happier, shorter and less expensive experience in your life.
If you need help or have further questions on how mediation can work for you, please contact me. I will be glad to answer your questions.