You have likely heard myth after myth about divorce. Is your image about divorce from the movie “War of the Roses?” There’s often a wide gulf between the way divorce and mediation works in real life and how it’s portrayed by Hollywood. What you see on the screen or hear from friends and family is often a far cry from the real thing.
As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, I’ve heard many of the common myths people have about the divorce mediation process. The truth is that can have a transformative difference in the lives of people.
In this issue, I’ll talk about reality and common myths of divorce mediation in Florida.
MYTH #1: We argue so much, mediation is a waste of time.
While many couples on the brink of divorce are combative, the goal of divorce mediation is to prevent the process from becoming an all-out war. As your Mediator, I’ll make sure the conversations remain productive and on-track. There is no taking of sides or picking winners and losers. Instead, our time together will be focused on mutually-agreed upon problem solving – not who can shout the loudest. I have worked with many high-conflict couples, and regardless of levels of conflict, divorce mediation will work if you both have a shared goal to end the divorce peacefully.
FACT #1: Arguing in Marriage Does Not Prevent A Peaceful Divorce
MYTH #2: We’ll just be pressured to reconcile.
As your Mediator, my role is not to reunite the two of you. Rather, I’m committed to help you both end your marriage without any further anger or misery. The decision to end a marriage is often a sad and unsettling time, but there’s hardly any benefit to “fighting to the bitter end.” I don’t pressure either spouse to settle for anything that they don’t agree to. Divorce mediation is designed so that no decision are made without both spouses saying “yes.” If you or your spouse says no to any issue, then we keep on negotiating. In mediation, you each have full power and control to say “yes” or to say “no” anytime.
FACT #2: Mediation Is Not About Pressuring Either Spouse to Agree.
MYTH #3: The courtroom is the best place to make decisions about my kids.
If you have plans for garnering sympathy from the family court in exchange for full custody or a divorce financial ruling that soaks your soon-to-be former spouse, you should know that your feelings do not come into play in the courtroom. The courts simply don’t care about how you feel. Keep in mind that the divorce process is not geared to punish one spouse over another for behaving poorly. Rather, the goal of the court is to merely dissolve the marriage – nothing more.
When divorce involves minor children, the emotions and stakes are even higher for both parents. The ultimate choice each parent must make is who do they want to decide issues about time-sharing, decision-making and overall care of their minor children: the Judge or themselves. In Mediation, both parents will make decisions about the best interests of their children. Although the court will ultimately review any parenting plan you agree to to ensure the child’s interests are protected, you are not leaving all the choices and decisions up to the Judge.
So far, I’ve never met anyone who has told me that they were happy to let the court decide issues about how to raise their children.
FACT #3: Parents Know Their Children Best And What Will Work For Them.
MYTH #4: Divorce mediation is too expensive.
Many divorce lawyers charge several hundred of dollars per hour to handle your case. They will almost always require a large up-front retainer too. That can easily run your final bill to thousands and thousands of dollars – and ever higher if your spouse decides to fight the divorce. In a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, however, I charge a low flat-rate that will not leaving you guessing about the final cost of your divorce. I am committed to helping you both to resolve your issues as quickly as possible.
FACT #4: Mediation is Less Expensive Then Both Spouses Hiring Lawyers in a Contested Divorce.
Here at PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, our sole mission is guide, comfort, and assist you and your spouse or partner so that you can obtain a peaceful divorce. Most importantly, we never judge you based upon your values, beliefs, culture or sexual orientation.
If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help by answering all of your questions and explaining to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation. Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario.
If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit™ Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you. I can be reached at 954-272-8292.