"You must hear some crazy stories." "What a stressful job." "Wow." These are the comments I typically get when I tell someone I meet for the first time that I am a Divorce Mediator. I acknowledge their perception, but then go on to discourage them about their idea of divorce mediation. In general, divorce mediation tends to proceed rather smoothly. People getting divorced tend to agree about a majority of the issues at hand. Even during a litigated divorce couples spend most of their time, energy and money fighting over a few key issues while agreeing on a large majority of topics.
At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we help couples address all of the areas of their divorce. These topics include, but are not limited to, a parenting plan, divisions of assets and liabilities and support issues. So that means- deciding who will have the kids when, including day to day schedule and for holidays/vacations, what will happen to your 401k, mortgage, credit card debt, house, etc., and we can calculate child support and address if spousal support (alimony) is warranted. Surprisingly, to the general public, but not to us as mediators, couples reach an agreement relatively easily about almost all these topics. There does tend to be one or two "hot button" items, which can be different for different couples, that comes up. But that is why you use a mediator. If you could easily resolve all the issues, you would not need a third party to get involved.
A divorce mediator helps the couple settle the hot button issues and reach a final divorce agreement that they can both live with for the future. Our skills and experience at helping people overcome gridlock allows the couple to reach an agreement instead of remaining stuck on the same repeated argument. I acknowledge that there are times when voices are raised or tears spilled in my office. This is a common occurrence at least some point during the process. After all, divorce is a stressful, emotional experience. However, the mediator is able to acknowledge the difficulties while still moving the couple forward with their decisions.