Do you hate your ex? Does the thought of your spouse make your blood boil? Do you feel like breaking anything in sight at the mere mention of his or her name? These are not unusual feelings to experience during divorce. Spouses often experience feelings of anger and hostility toward an ex-partner. These feelings can be especially bitter depending on the reasons for the divorce and the issues to be addressed, such as significant assets, debts, or most importantly, children. Couples may find themselves unable to speak with one another or even be in the same room together. This is the sad reality of many divorcing couples today.
Angry couples need not, however, fight their battles in court. Even some of the most hostile couples have resolved their issues through mediation. Mediation tends to de-escalate emotions and battles and the hostility that can exist between exes. During mediation, spouses can meet in the same room or meet with a mediator in separate rooms. Meeting in separate rooms allows spouses to avoid seeing one another, and this is almost always the most appropriate arrangement when there has been domestic violence. When both spouses are in the same room, the process may go more quickly, however. Even when spouses meet in the same room, they may request a private break with the mediator to express certain concerns and questions that might not be addressed in the presence of the other spouse. The point, of course, is that in mediation, the parties are the ones to control the process, and when the parties are in control the experience can often be a much more satisfying one. Gone are the days of sitting around in a courtroom waiting for your case to be heard while you listen to the dramas and heartaches of the families around you play out, all the while paying your attorney to sit there and do the same thing: wait.
Divorce is difficult under the best of circumstances, and sometimes we are so drawn into the battle that we lose our focus of what brought us here in the first place: a desire to make our lives better. And while a divorce may not seem like the best way to go about that, it nonetheless may be a necessary step in the right direction. An old Chinese proverb states, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Shouldn’t that first step be one designed to make the process better? Mediation might just be the way for you.