FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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Question: I'm considering mediation, but I'm worried that a mediator may be biased towards my spouse. If you do the mediation, will you really hear my side of the story?
(Worries about mediator neutrality are not limited to divorce situations. Whatever the dispute, this is a natural concern.)
Answer: Whoever the mediating parties are - whether a divorcing couple,
siblings with an estate conflict or family members dissolving a business
- each party to the mediation will have an opportunity to explain his or
her individual perspective. It is part of Ms. Wasserman's role as mediator
to allow time for this, to listen attentively to each party and to help
the parties listen to each other. Ms. Wasserman has extensive training
on the subject of neutrality, including gender neutrality, and she knows
how essential it is that she not judge the parties or choose sides. She
will appreciate the emotional and financial complexities of your situation
and will use the mediation process to gain an understanding based on real
issues, not surface impressions.
Question: Should the parties to a divorce mediation keep talking between sessions?
Answer: Participants in the divorce mediation process often wonder ...
should they keep the discussion of issues going between sessions ... or
is it advisable to call a halt to outside discussion? The answer is: it
depends. Most often, the parties to the mediation are well-guided by their
own instincts in this area. Parties uncertain about the wisdom of outside
communication, or the limits to set, will find guidelines evolving as the
mediation proceeds, and, in any event, can raise the subject in mediation.
If the parties want to communicate constructively between sessions, their
mediator will encourage them to go ahead and try. But for divorcing couples
with an especially volatile relationship, the mediator may discourage outside
discussion of the issues -- between some sessions, at least.
Question: What is “marital mediation”?
Answer: Mediation is sometimes entered into by a married couple with the express intention of reducing conflict in their marriage. This type of mediation is often referred to as "marital mediation" Marital mediation is different from psychological counseling and is not a substitute for counseling. Marital mediation, like other mediation, has a practical, agreement-oriented and detail-oriented focus. In marital mediation, once a couple identifies specific areas of conflict to work on, they can use the mediation process to find points of agreement and negotiate conflict-reducing resolutions. Throughout the process of marital mediation, the couple will be developing and practicing cooperative, respectful, constructive ways of communicating and reaching accord. Marital mediation may result in the couple entering into a Postnuptial Agreement. (For more information on marital mediation, see the Reach Accord Blog.)