Archive for December, 2016

Divorce Mediation or Collaborative Divorce Requires Getting on The Same Page

The process of divorce mediation or collaborative divorce is not the core that makes this life transition work.

When faced with divorce, people come in looking for the “magic pill.” They want something that will help them get through this change with the least amount of emotional hurt and financial ruin. The mistake is that they are looking for something outside of their relationship to help make things work. From years of observation, we know they are looking in the wrong place.

Divorce Mediation Carlsbad Couple Distressed

One Major Cause of Contention: While there are arguments regarding asset division and support, one of the biggest drivers of the conflict is a dissimilar interest in the status of the marriage. Typically there is one person that wants out (the “out” spouse) and the other intends to work on the relationship (the “in” spouse). When both sides are at odds about the marriage itself, any item of contention is much worse. Every point of discussion becomes an attempt by the “in” spouse to keep both sides engaged in the relationship. For them, even a painful relationship feels better than no connection at all.

Recently we had a couple in this exact situation. The couple came for divorce mediation. In preliminary discussions, it became apparent that they had a major issue over an asset involving an item of property that might be separate.

A review of the facts by all involved revealed that the argument was pointless and the attorneys for each side were in agreement as to what needed to happen next. However, one spouse (the “in” spouse) would not let it go and brought up every issue possible to deflect settling. The only thing that forced the matter to closure was the threat of going to court over the matter. In later discussions, it was clear that the reason behind the fight was the “in” spouse’s unwillingness to let go. This battle was a last-ditch effort to get the “out” spouse to come back.

This type of issue can be resolved up front if a couple would start by getting together with specialized counselors that can help them come to terms with their marriage status – either that it is ending or they agree to work on it. Once both people are in that same mindset, they can move forward in a more unified way. If divorce is the option, as painful as that is, the process to reach an agreement for parenting, support, and property division are much smoother.

Initial work with discernment counselors or marriage and family therapists, from our experience in divorce mediation, is an important key for a couple to save some emotional distress as well as thousands of dollars in legal fees.


Armand and Robbin D’Alo