What do you think of when you hear the word “divorce”?
For me, it’s when I was in third grade. I was telling a story about my parents during recess, probably complaining about something only an eight year old could be frustrated about. What happened next was humbling.
“Your parents are together?” a kid piped up.
A group of eight heads turned towards me, their faces contorted with disbelief. I had just transferred elementary schools, and at my previous school, married parents were the norm…not the fluke.
From then on my idea of divorce was shaped by my friends’ experiences with it. Some parents spent as little time speaking as they could muster; some still got coffee on the weekends together. As one of my peers explained it, “they’re still good friends, and they get along well. They just weren’t meant to be married to each other.”
This realization was shocking to me — divorced parents can not hate each other, and still maintain a friendship??? What is this concept of a non-messy separation?
The idea of a reasonable, well-thought out divorce is the red herring of the family law industry. It literally happens all the time — but we mostly hear about the bitter ends rather than the mature conclusions.
These mature conclusions are becoming more and more possible with the rise of divorce mediation. There are pioneering divorce mediators in Orange County (and across the country, for that matter) that serve the exact same purpose as a divorce lawyer — but their approach is entirely unique.
For one, it is a fraction of the price. Considering how quickly money can complicate the end of a marriage (even before the attorney names their price), this automatically makes the process 200% easier.
Divorce mediation also makes good use of the “collaborative process”. Now this might seem like a strange phrase to use in relation to divorce; but when you think about it, that is what the ideal divorce strives to be. A conversation between two people and a litigator where everyone involved works together toward the best case scenario. No unspoken wishes, no encouragement to resent the other person involved. Just an honest approach to the question, “what would work best for everyone here?”
Divorce mediation has the power to completely revolutionize the concept of divorce, yet so many people fall victim to the traditional divorce process. Now, this isn’t to paint all divorce attorneys are sharks looking for the most amount of blood to suck from hurting, grieving couples. There are thousands of professionals who enter family law because they are passionate about making the process go smoothly, and I firmly believe that.
The divorce mediator simply goes about it in a different way. The fact that all meetings with the mediator involve both halves of the couple just leaves less room for confusion, miscommunication, and resentment. Especially if there are children involved in the discussion, it can make the whole process so much more transparent.
Divorce is a reality that many people have to face, but it does not always have to be the end of the world. My friend’s parents who were able to maintain a genuine friendship even a decade after the divorce? That does not have to be the fluke. The more traction divorce mediation gains in family law and hopefully mainstream culture, the more we can see families heal from what could have been a horrible dispute.
One of the top rated divorce mediators can be found here:
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660