3 mediation styles and how they can help settle your divorce
Not all divorces must be a battlefield. Yours can be peaceful and productive if you and your ex choose it to be.
Unlike going before a judge in a court trial for disagreements on multiple issues, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution option that allows you and your ex to work out your differences with a neutral mediator. This way, you can reach a fair marital agreement without exhausting as much time, finances and emotions as you might in litigation.
While each family dynamic is unique, there are three common styles that divorce mediators often use that can help settle your case.
Identifying common mediation approaches
In California, you can pursue a court-ordered mediation or opt for a private mediation.
Depending on your specific county, court mediators may have the right to submit information and make recommendations to the court. For other counties, court disclosure hinges on both parties’ consent. Further, court mediations generally only consider child custody and visitation concerns.
Conversely, some couples prefer private mediation to maintain confidentiality. You and your ex may also control the potential scheduling of sessions and what issues to address.
Whichever route you and your ex decide, mediators often use a combination of the following mediation approaches to guide you toward well-informed decisions.
- Transformative: Infuses principles of empowerment and recognition, allowing both parties to openly communicate their emotions and perspectives
- Evaluative: Involves tackling the case directly – pointing out oversights, making recommendations and predicting possible scenarios if the case goes to trial
- Facilitative: Incorporates the efficiency of the transformative model and the evaluative method’s empathetic lens by administering the procedure while recognizing both parties’ points
The uses and outcomes of these approaches vary greatly in every divorce’s circumstances. Your situation, for example, may have disputed matters that require a synergistic interaction of all three styles.
Once you have covered all grounds and reached mutually agreed decisions, you can work with your mediator on a settlement agreement. If the court finds provisions in your agreement not in your child’s best interests, the judge may ask you for a court appearance before a final judgment.
Developing pragmatic and promising results
Mediation can yield positive results if you and your ex commit to working together, no matter how challenging. It will be wise to have a mediator who can constructively bridge legal gaps and provide a common ground protective of both your rights and interests.