Mediators are peace makers. A good family mediator will have a long track record of helping clients navigate divorce with dignity and respect. Mediation is about bringing peace to families who are facing one of the most difficult transitions in their lives. When you are facing a life-changing event like divorce, you are overwhelmed and vulnerable. You need support and guidance from someone with integrity. A mediator who is a peace maker should provide support, guidance and a structured process to address all of your needs.
In contrast with mediation is the court system, which is akin to a combat zone. Going to court is an inherently adversarial, win-lose process where the parties have no control over the timing or the outcome. When lawyers advocate zealously and the Parties are told not to talk to each other, the conflict only escalates. After years spent preparing for their “day in court,” the parties are almost always unhappy with the orders finally handed down by the Judge. And so the fighting is fueled by greater resentment and mistrust, the parties keep returning to court, and everyone pays the price, especially the children, who are caught in the middle.
Mediation is the opposite of the combat zone. It is a non-adversarial process that gives the parties control over the timing and the outcome. In mediation, the parties create their own agreements with support and guidance from the mediator. The mediator as a peace maker must have the right training to handle conflict and emotions with integrity while maintaining their neutrality. If the parties reach an impasse, the mediator must have proven techniques to end impasse. The mediator as a peace maker also uses tools such as ground rules to create a safe environment for productive negotiation between the parties.
A mediator who is a peace maker will have a flexible process that is built upon proven techniques to keep people focused on their goals for the future. When people focus on building a better future and work together to reach their own agreements, they are much more likely to keep those agreements. Avoiding the combat zone of court not only empowers people, it brings peace to their lives and their children’s lives. Some have gone so far as to say it saved their lives.