One option available to couples seeking to amicably resolve their divorce is co-mediation. This is simply a form of mediation is which 2 mediators are present to help facilitate a mutually beneficial resolution. Having a second mediator present can be helpful for a number of reasons:
Each mediator may have a different skill set: This can be important if there are several different types of issues that must be resolved. For example, depending on the circumstances, a couple may want one mediator who is an expert in real estate transactions and one mediator who is experienced in resolving child custody issues.
Each party may feel more comfortable with a certain mediator: In a divorce in which one spouse is 20 years older than the other, it might make both sides feel more at ease to have 2 mediators who are in different age groups themselves. Also, some people may feel that only a mediator of their own gender will truly be able to understand their point of view about certain issues during the process.
2 heads can be better than 1: Sometimes it simply helps to have 2 mediators because it brings different perspectives into the process. The 2 mediators can complement each other and one may come up with possible solutions that the other one might not. Especially if certain issues appear to be at a standstill during the process, having a broader range of different points of view in the room can be a good thing.
Co-mediation is one way to go, but of course it is not necessary for every couple. During mediations I facilitate, I often work with a team of mental health professionals, but we usually work with the couples individually, rather than at the same time.
Remember that when it comes to your mediation, the control over the process is in your hands. Both parties need to feel comfortable with the resolutions arrived at. Our slogan is that at the end of the day, “these are your decisions, your agreements and your divorce”.
Robert D. Bordett CFP, CDFA
and Mediation Services
888 U2AGREE (888.822.4733)