The Mediator Tune-Up
When people have children together, divorce may be the end of their marriage, but it is never the end of their interaction, nor of the problems and issues they must contend with. While the children are growing up, there will be inevitable conflicts regarding parenting time, vacations, summer camp, tennis lessons, tutoring, unanticipated expenses, children’s growing pains, both emotional and economic, and many other muddles as well. These are not unusual and abnormal. They are the perfectly normal, routine results of having growing children.
But how to resolve? Open, non-threatening, easy communication is required; but that is very often not present among divorced parents, especially those who went through a court-system divorce. For them, several years of expensive litigation in which they were required to take antagonistic positions against one another, easy, open communication with one another is a rare commodity.
Our court-system does not offer any tune-up, or ongoing process to help. Instead, it’s entire method is based upon prosecuting and defending cause-of-action lawsuits where each party makes unwanted claims upon the other.
Mediation lends itself particularly well to tune-up. Mediation is free to focus on whatever issues are most urgent, without the necessity of formalistic pleadings, and without involving state employees, institutions, and bureaucracies. And also, without the divisiveness and expense of each party retaining separate counsel. This is certainly so when the parties previously mediated their divorce, and their ability to communicate has not been fundamentally compromised, and even more so, for those who did not mediate their divorce, and really need a way to problem-solve with each other effectively.
I am working on just such a matter now. It is three-plus years since the divorce, and some adjustments are thought necessary with regard to sleepovers, vacation-time, and child-care. Not only have we been able to work through the actual issues and arrive at fair solutions, but the level of communication between the parents, which, as to be expected, had declined over the years, is showing signs of improvement, and that is the best results for the parents, as well as the children.
I. Easily commenced, parties are back and resolving.