Reading about antagonistic, high profile divorces has become so commonplace that one doesn’t even feel the need to raise an eyebrow at the deplorable way in which, one time sweethearts reduce themselves to public clashes, regardless of the ensuing damage caused to themselves, and most tragically their children.
What should be a family’s most private and often devastating hours of need are flaunted across the tabloids instead of being dealt with in a sensitive and controlled environment. Of course not everybody’s lives are of interest to Joe Public. However, the theory remains the same. Invariably during a relationship breakdown, one or both parties will divulge intimate and damning allegations about their ex to various family members, friends and even acquaintances. This often adds fuel to the already blazing fire and seeks to aggravate the situation further. Not only does this ostracise and alienate children but also inevitably results in each party raising their defences, unsurprisingly triggering lengthier and more costly divorce proceedings.
Although, it has been a while since Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin separated they have done so in a dignified and child focused way. I have waited for a public spat, a sly aside but there have been none. Of course, not all separations are as amicable, and often one or both parties have suffered considerably from the action(s) of their ex. Often in situations such as these a couple thinks there is no alternative but to turn to a lawyer and fight long, expensive and embittered court proceedings. This is most definitely not the case. The majority of relationship breakdowns can benefit from the assistance of an experienced, knowledgeable and sensitive mediator. Even in the most hostile of situations a mediator can help resolve, or at least narrow the issues associated with a relationship breakdown. However, complicated or messy your finances are or tricky the situation is regarding you children, mediation serves to unearth the root of the issues , explore the options and allow the parties to take control of theirs and their family’s destiny by allowing them to reach their own workable agreement.
Courts are limited in the Orders they can make. They rarely show initiative or think outside of the box. This means that generic decisions are handed down, which often do not entirely work in a specific family situation. Judges simply do not have the time to sit and explore all of the issues however simple or complicated the matter is. Mediation is not confined in the same way and therefore provides considerably more leeway and flexibility.
Most importantly one of the biggest benefits of mediation is that couples usually retain a good communicative working relationship, essential if they wish to co parent successfully. This also limits the desire to publicly berate each other and in turn means for a more amicable and peaceful separation.