Sometimes, while a couple is mediating the terms of their divorce, they reach an impasse. It can be over any disputed issue and has the potential to derail the mediation process, whether seemingly big or small.
It is not uncommon for the mediator to see two sets of eyes turn towards him or her, and one spouse asks, “Well, what do you think?”
The role of mediator, and the neutrality that comes along with that role, is instantly thrust into the spotlight. Again, regardless of whether the disputed issue is seemingly big or small, the mediator’s response must maintain neutrality so as to preserve the process and, hopefully, prevent derailing the mediation process.
One of the major advantages of mediation is that you, the spouses, are the ones deciding the terms of your divorce. This is incredibly empowering when compared to the alternative of litigation, where a judge is the ultimate decider of the issues, both big and small, that affect your life moving forward.
This empowering process does not mean that deciding who is getting what, or what a parenting plan will look like, is easy for divorcing spouses. Conversations can become incredibly emotional, and an agreement is not always simple or easy.
A good mediator does not respond to the question, “Well, what do you think?” with “I think that you should get . . .” The mediator’s role is to, again, maintaining neutrality, facilitate conversations pertinent and helpful towards creating a fair and reasonable separation agreement. This can mean that the appropriate response is taking a step back to examine each spouse’s goals and interests, or providing options.
You (and your spouse) control the process. After all, it’s your (and his/her) life.
If you should have any questions about divorce mediation in Massachusetts, contact Jonathan R. Eaton of Finn & Eaton, P.C. in Woburn and Saugus by calling 781 484-1066 or by sending an email to schedule a free initial consultation.