The benefits of mediation are huge. That’s not to say that it is easy. Often the things that we are most proud of are the hardest to achieve. Sometimes people are held back from trying, or committing, to mediation. In this blog we have tried to focus on the most common reasons why people say mediation isn’t for them. We are also dispelling the myths to ensure that as many people as possible can reap the amazing benefits mediation can provide.
1. One of the reasons why someone might not try mediation is if they don’t know about it. Here at LKW Family Mediation we are on a mission to spread the word about mediation as far as possible. Hence our regular blogs and our participation in #mediationhour on Thursday evenings from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. But we can’t do it alone so we would invite anyone who knows about mediation, or who has experienced mediation, to help spread the word about what it is and what it gives people.
2. If you’re not ready to move on then it might be hard to contemplate how you are going to resolve matters. In our experience it is not unusual for one person to be planning their new life and thinking full speed ahead, whilst the other person is still shocked, upset and angry and struggling to come to terms with the breakdown of their marriage. This can often relate to the fact that one person can be unaware of how unhappy the other person has been, and for how long. Often time is the best healer and a no to mediation now does not mean a no in three months’ time (or six months or even a year). Counselling can also be effective in helping people come to terms with the breakdown of their marriage.
3. Talking is impossible. We often hear people say that they would go to mediation but their partner or spouse are impossible to talk to so it won’t work. You would honestly be amazed what the partner or spouse say when they come to an initial mediation meeting. Relations and communication are often poor because there is a lot of anger and uncertainty and that doesn’t make for very conciliatory people. But here’s the thing, if you’re hiding behind tense texts, excruciating emails and barbed banter then how are you going to move forward? Sometimes it can seem a whole lot easier to talk through solicitors. It’s a lot easier because the words aren’t really yours. OK so it was a bit nasty what you said but you didn’t really say it. It was your solicitor and they wouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t OK, right? But it’s your argument and it’s your children and it will be your children’s wedding at some point in the future (or graduation or other life event) and how is it going to affect everyone if you can’t even both attend and be civil to each other? Given how important it is, isn’t it sensible for you to take responsibility for the outcome?
4. Mediation costs money and you don’t have the money. This is a difficult one. Ultimately separating from someone costs money. Unfortunately no one really gets legal aid any more (save for in a few exceptional circumstances but it’s rare). If you can manage to sort everything out between the two of you without any help then that’s fab. If you’ve got a sensible resolution that works for everyone outlined then you only need to pay the court fees for the divorce proceedings and the cost of having your resolution put into a formal order and lodged with the court (you can draw this up yourself but there is special wording that needs to be used so you may need to pay a solicitor). But for a lot of people they can’t sort the resolution out themselves and so they need help. What help do you want to use? The court will charge you a fee to use the system and you will then have to wait as the wheels of the process turn. It’s likely neither of you will be happy with the outcome and you will have wasted a number of hours in your life sat in a court building hating each other more than you do now. If you go to mediation it’s likely you will find a resolution in a few sessions. It will only take a few weeks and it probably won’t cost as much as you think. You’ll have your resolution and you’ll undoubtedly have a better relationship going forward.
5. Lastly the one we often here is my partner or spouse won’t come to mediation. As with all things in life you don’t know what someone will say until you ask them. So let us ask them. We have a particular way of asking that makes people more likely to say yes than if you ask them. If you don’t ask you never know.
If you want to know more about how mediation can give you the tools to separate constructively putting your family at the forefront of what you decide, to do then please get in touch. We’re always happy to have a free and informal chat to explain more about what happens in mediation.