3 Common Myths About Divorce Mediation

3d facts over myths

{3:24 minutes to read}

Recently, I wrote a blog entitled “Divorce Mediation and the Pigeonhole Effect.” In that article, I spoke about the way divorce mediation has unjustifiably been “pigeonholed” by some professionals as being an effective approach for couples in conflict only in very limited situations. Now I’d like to expand upon my earlier discussion by identifying what I see as 3 of the most common misconceptions regarding mediation.

Myth #1: Mediation is not for complicated cases.

I’ve heard critics contend that divorce mediation should only be used in simple scenarios in which couples are seeking a totally amicable divorce and basically agree upon all of the issues they’re negotiating. In the critics’ view, not surprisingly (and very conveniently), all but the most simplistic cases are considered “complicated” and thus need to be handled in litigation.

The truth is that mediation often provides the most effective platform for divorcing couples, whether their situation is complicated or simple. It’s quicker, more cost effective, and allows the couple to make their own decisions rather than conceding that power to their lawyers or a judge.

Myth #2: Mediation is not for high-net-worth couples.

Mediation is effective for couples at all income levels. The same basic issues, financial and otherwise, need to be addressed in mediation no matter how much money a couple has.

When I schedule my first session with a couple, I advise them that they may need to consult with a financial expert, if their circumstances require it. With high-net-worth couples, finances are usually more complicated. In those cases, it often makes sense to bring in a financial expert, such as a:

  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFAⓇ); and/or
  • CPA/Accountant.

These experts will help couples explore their financial options and explain the ramifications of various decisions.

Myth #3: Mediation is not for high-conflict couples.

High-conflict couples can certainly be more challenging, whether in mediation or litigation. These are often the couples whose divorce actions drag on for years as they wend their way through the court system.

An experienced mediator may be able to help a high-conflict couple reach a settlement. It will likely take more time, due to the degree of discord in the relationship. However, by going through the process of mediation, these couples may learn more effective ways of communicating with each other. This is especially beneficial if they share children together.

While there are some divorces that may not be effectively handled through mediation, such as those where people fear for their physical safety, I firmly believe that divorce mediation is the first and best choice for many couples.

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2 responses on “3 Common Myths About Divorce Mediation

  1. Frank Dusek CPA

    I could not agree with you more. All divorces should be mediated and not litigated. I have seen costs of litigated divorces go into the mid six figures, because the parties won’t talk. If they talked, they could save hundred of thousands of dollars.

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