Divorce Mediation Can Help Couples Facing Tension and Conflict
We often hear people say some version of “There’s too much conflict in my divorce to go through mediation; it’ll never work for us.” The truth is, divorce mediation often benefits couples and families embroiled in high-conflict divorce proceedings even more, because it gets to the root of that conflict in a safe and confidential environment. Whether you and your spouse cannot stop fighting, have significant assets, want different outcomes for your children, or any other reason that has led to conflict, divorce mediation can help.
What are the leading causes of conflict in a divorce?
Every couple is different, so their sources of conflict differ as well. Just because you fight about an issue doesn’t mean you cannot reach a resolution that works for everyone. It is important to find the root cause of that conflict and address it from the beginning, so that you can both work more effectively.
Most couples fight about these five things: money, sex, household chores, work and their children. However, the more appropriate way to look at this might be, most couples’ conflicts are about control, fear and fairness manifest in arguments about one of these categories. If you are enmeshed in a high-conflict divorce, the questions you may need to address include:
- Does my spouse understand my values and priorities? And does he or she respect them?
- What is in the best interest of my children, and are my goals aligned with those interests?
- Are my concerns and fears being heard or dismissed? Are my spouse’s?
- Do I feel like an equal partner in my marriage? Do I treat my spouse as an equal partner, or do I see him or her as contributing less to our marriage?
Many high-conflict divorces are rooted in feelings of inequality: one spouse feels he or she contributes more, in terms of time, money, support, etc. This is why talking openly and honestly about these feelings from the very first meeting can be so effective. Both parties can have their fears and concerns heard by neutral divorce mediators as well as the other spouse. Since the goal is to facilitate an effective resolution as easily and peacefully as possible, airing out your grievances form the beginning can help us create a strategy moving forward that addresses your needs.
How can divorce mediation help in high-conflict divorce?
Our divorce mediators are focused on helping you manage, and ultimate resolve, the conflicts you have. That could mean seeking outside assistance, with your permission, from financial experts or child psychologists or counselors. It also involves providing you with a space that is safe and neutral: because we are totally impartial, and because all divorce mediation sessions are confidential, you and your spouse can address your concerns and needs without fear of recrimination later. Our mission is to help you find a way forward that is based in trust and mutual agreement.
If you are facing a high-conflict divorce, the team at Divorce Mediation Associates, Ltd. may be able to help. We are based in Reston, and work with families throughout Northern Virginia. To reserve a consultation time with us, please call 703-665-7592, or fill out our contact form.