While a successful divorce or family mediation often involves many different factors and moving parts, when the process is boiled down to its basics, there are only two elements that must exist for the mediation to move forward in a productive manner, namely the willingness of both parties to dialogue and the agreement that each party will fully disclose to the other all relevant information.
As to the first requirement, it is impossible for a mediation to proceed without both parties agreeing to have a meaningful conversation about the issues. As they say, it takes two to tango, and that same truism applies to mediation. Based on my experience, it is rare for both spouses to be equally enthusiastic about pursuing mediation, and usually one party is more skeptical or hesitant about the process. Thankfully, we are usually able to successfully use mediation, and avoid costly and damaging litigation, even under these circumstances. The first step is just walking in the door, and even if one party is less willing to be an active participant, it is my job as a mediator to use my experience to facilitate respectful and productive conversations between the parties.
Regarding full disclosure, a successful mediation cannot occur unless the parties are making voluntary and informed decisions, and this cannot happen if either party fails to be completely forthcoming with all relevant information. In the divorce and family law context, this generally comes down to financial information. If either party is unwilling to be completely honest and transparent about these issues, or if I come to believe that one of the parties is trying to hide the ball from the other, then the integrity of the entire process is compromised, and mediation simply cannot proceed. One of the mediator’s roles is to ensure that full disclosure has been provided so the parties can make intelligent and informed decisions about all the issues.
Communication and full disclosure represent two necessary elements of a successful mediation. Please visit our website to learn more about pre-suit mediation and how we can help to navigate your divorce or other family law matter in a healthy and cost-effective manner.
Click on our website at www.HealthyFamilyMediation.com for more information. Or call 239.529.3549 to discuss your options.