Why Do People Mediate Separation and Divorce Issues?

Professionals at the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution (CMDR) have been tracking the responses of their clients. Here’s a sampling of what they say:

To avoid bitter conflict:

“I’ve watched friends engage in ugly feuds that ended in their becoming real enemies, unable to even talk together about their children.”

“For longer than I can remember, my brother and his wife kept returning to court. I can’t even remember why they kept fighting, even after they were divorced.”

To save time and money:

“I know four couples who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their divorce. It’s crazy the waste of money and time; yes, time, it seemed to be a divorce without end.”

“I do not intend to send a lawyer’s children to college. Mediation is faster and cheaper and it makes sense.”

To focus on their children:

“I know and she knows that we need to be there for our kids. Mediation just seems to be a way to carve out a relationship that will allow us to parent in the future.”

“We agree that the kids come first. We know we have years ahead of us as parents.”

To maintain dignity:

“Our marriage has not been good for a long time; yet I don’t hate her and I don’t think she hates me. Mediation gives us a process that is thoughtful and dignified.”

“I need to do this divorce right. My adult children are already furious at me about the divorce. At least they won’t see us sink to name calling and one upmanship.”

Dr. Lynne C. Halem is the director at the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution in Wellesley, MA. Dr. Halem has worked in the mediation field since 1982. She assembled the responses above.