Mediation For Divorce

Posted on Thursday 21 June 2012 and filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0 . You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site

As the statistics on divorce increase, the question as to where one can get a good divorce lawyer is also becoming popular. The topic of divorce is always associated with sadness, grief, tears and loss. Divorce is a stressful and life-changing event that marks an end to marriage. It is more taxing to couples who have been married for so many years, especially for those with children. Although one would want to avoid divorce at all cost, there are times when this is inevitable. This article will therefore highlight as to how one can make the event less painful for all parties.

The traditional approach for a divorce will involve a litigation lawyer in Family Law practice who receives instructions from the client to dissolve a marriage. Imagine the divorce couple represented by their respective lawyer, each finding the right strategy to win against the other spouse. A court case may drag on for years due to the backlog of proceedings. Throughout the entire process, the emotional crisis faced by both parties, the children’s welfare and family conflict become more intense so much so that it may even be too dramatic for the court to deal with. Furthermore, the court places much importance to the mechanical legal system, which operates based on the written Law. Therefore, the court may not be able to fully appreciate the traumatic experience that the couple is going through. The final decision is also left in the hand of the judge instead of the couple themselves.

Due to these many reasons, many couples cannot afford to resort to a litigation divorce not only because of its high cost, but also because the trial is very time-consuming. During a trial, divorced parents may not invest enough time to fulfil their parental duties to bring up their children. A trial also does not help either party to heal from their grief but instead elevates the animosity between them.

To prevent escalation of conflict in family law disputes, mediation is an alternative process that allows the about-to-divorce couple to sit down to plan for their after-divorce lives. This is a joint decision agreed by both sides to come to a win-win situation. Here, a neutral party, namely the mediator, will facilitate the communication and interaction between both parties. The mediator will not only give legal advice, but is also trained to provide psychological, emotional and sociological support during the mediation process.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in the United States is said to exemplify the highest degree of professionalism in the practice of Family Law. The practitioners are specially trained to assist about-to-divorce couples to discuss related issues and to help them reach an agreement concerning children, property and money. The Family Resolutions Chambers (FRC) in Singapore also serves the same objective. They help families resolve their matrimonial dispute in a non-trial setting. However, as it requires a proper and comprehensive framework for the approach, the mediation approach for family disputes is less popular in some other developing countries. Many legal systems are still yet to establish a separate body consisting of specially trained practitioners to handle such cases.

Bear in mind that a divorce does not focus on the disputes between the couple but also puts the children custody to question. Court proceedings emphasise on fact finding when trying to reach to a conclusion as to who is to be blamed for the disputes. Much attention is placed on the past instead of the present or the future. In this way, mediation is a good alternative for both parties to reach a peaceful agreement on the interest of both parties, especially that which involves the welfare of the children. Research discovered that children with divorced parents are more likely to suffer from psychological and behavioural problems than others. Therefore, it is important that both parents do their very best to reduce the negative effects coming out of a divorce.

Research also suggests that though it is important for parents to maintain a certain degree of parental control, their children’s desire to be heard should also not be ignored. All these are practiced during a mediation session, whereby children can freely share their share of struggle during the divorce process. Parents can therefore take this opportunity to better understand that the situation does not only affect them, but others as well and can also take the necessary measure to meet their children’s needs. Supportive co-parenting is said to successfully minimise the divorce effects on children.

It is never easy for anyone to walk through a divorce. The routine, responsibilities, relationship with family members will definitely be disrupted. Patience is a key factor as healing of emotional wounds may take some time. Mediation definitely acts as a holistic resolution method for a family dispute. Each couple may require up to 5 sessions of mediation with each session lasting between 2 to 3 hours. If divorce is inevitable, why not turn to mediation to result in a peaceful divorce and help accelerate the healing process for all parties involved?

Authors: Tey Sze Chze & Genevieve Tan Shu Thung

Copyright © 2012 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources
Holistic Living Annex (Volume 1, Issue 6 - JULY 2012 Edn)

1 Response for “ Mediation For Divorce”

  1. help!! says:

    Any divorce is a headache!! Of course all of us would want a happily ever after, but if we are not destined to, how can we avoid this thing called divorce? Can mediation prevent a divorce??


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