While you were in grade school, if you wanted to play kickball and your friend wanted to play jump rope, you might have resolved this issue by tossing a coin, drawing straws, demanding to play your game, taking turns playing both, or deciding you’d both play something else.
Most of us have never really learned any more advanced techniques for resolving conflict than the above example. While these might have worked well in elementary school, when the stakes are higher we are usually at a loss about how to work things out in a fair and agreeable way. For families in transition due to one or both spouses deciding to end a marriage, more advanced skills in resolving conflict are needed.
What Is Co-Mediation?
Working with a team can bring out the best in people and help them to craft better agreements than only one person might create. Having two mediators (one who is also a licensed psychotherapist/divorce coach and one who is also a family law attorney) working in tandem to co-mediate your Massachusetts divorce is advantageous as it translates into a better divorce process…here’s how:
More skillful problem solving can take place and better agreements can be created when there are a team of professionals at the negotiating table along with the clients. The unique expertise, training, and creativity of two professional mediators, combined, offers you legal expertise as well as insight and guidance regarding the emotional and psychological aspects of family transition and the developmental needs of your children. This powerful mediation team can provide added energy and attention to help you through your particular problem solving process, skillful help in resolving conflicts, and creative ideas to address and resolve your particular family’s issue. Two mediators can also keep each other in check so that there is no bias toward or against either of you and assure that the work is accomplished in a fair, neutral, and professional manner. Having a Co-Mediator who is also trained as a psychotherapist ensures that the mediation will take place in a safe work environment, at a pace that works for both of you, and in a style that respects each of your communication and learning needs.
Your needs and interests can be better understood and addressed when two expert mediators are listening. Both mediators assist you in brainstorming creative options and negotiating an agreement you and your family can truly live with. This also makes for a more efficient and timely divorce process.
Expert co-mediators help you to stay in the driver’s seat and choose the path that best suits your needs and your family’s needs for a happier, more successful life, going forward. Figuring out how to divide assets and debt, or coming up with a meaningful parenting plan so that both spouses will share in duties, responsibilities, and the pleasures of parenting, too, or planning what to do about the family home (which everyone may be very attached to emotionally) takes real skills and knowledge about how to:
-Help people settle disagreements,
-Set and achieve goals for the family and each individual
-Divide things up in an equitable and agreeable way
-Understand the emotional and psychological effects of divorce on individual family members and on children
-Assist in putting some structures in place to help everyone move forward
Working with a Co-Mediation Team can increase your chances to accomplish this in a gentler, calmer way. You will also have the opportunity to learn new and more effective communication skills in the process as you experience and observe how the co-mediators work with you, your spouse and each other.
If you’d like to learn more about Co-Mediation services, feel free to contact us or leave us a comment below.