What does a Mediator Do In A Divorce? Benefits Explained

If you are planning a divorce or currently divorcing, you know that what seems very simple on paper is actually quite complicated in practice. A marriage is a legal contract that ties two people’s assets, family, and debt together, and when you split up all of those details need to be negotiated.

This can lead to a lot of conflict, especially because divorces are already emotionally challenging, and it’s why 3% of divorces end up in trial court. Engaging lawyers is extremely expensive, and litigation can eat up years of the new life you should be out living. 

In some cases it is possible for couples to work out a settlement on their own, but for many a divorce raises too many unfamiliar and complicated questions for people to resolve without help. Fortunately, a certified divorce mediator is an excellent alternative that can efficiently resolve disagreements and part ways on the best possible terms.

What Does a Mediator Do?

In a divorce that has not gone to court yet, a mediator helps couples navigate the waters of separation without having to resort to lengthy and costly legal actions that ultimately benefit neither party. They can lay out reasonable settlement options based on experience and practical factors, as well as diffuse emotional tension to help everyone get to the finish line with a minimum of stress and trauma.

For most couples, a divorce mediator is the perfect solution to an imperfect dissolution, and the difference between a lifetime of resentment and anger and a smooth, amicable transition to the next phase of life. 

Cost/Benefit Analysis

The top three things married couples argue about are sex, money, and children, and when they divorce, two of those are still going to be big problems. Obviously, your children will always belong to both of you, but they can only live in one place at a time. Custody issues are potentially highly volatile, even when the solutions are fairly cut-and-dry. 

Also, it’s easy to forget that assets like houses and jewelry that are “yours” or “mine” still legally belong to both of you under most circumstances. If a violin is worth  $10,000, a spouse may be looking for compensation in the form of a $10,000 necklace even if they’ve never played a note or worn a choker in their life.

These are the reasons divorces end up in court, and if that happens it’s likely going to be traumatic for your children and cost at least as much as the guitar and the car put together. Courts are by definition a nuclear option for irreconcilable differences between people; they hand down orders, not a menu of options, and it’s very possible that a judge’s decision will also be the most impractical or absurd.That’s the value a divorce mediator brings to the table when couples can’t resolve their differences on their own: context. 

A credentialed mediator understands how courts operate and what the likely outcomes will be without the need to spend tens of thousands of dollars and create unnecessary suffering for loved ones. 

Mediation typically costs a fraction of litigation, and because it’s a negotiation the divorcing couple still has a voice in the outcome. That means finding the least painful resolutions to custody issues, and making common sense decisions about important assets so everyone can move forward confidently. 

Lowering the Emotional Temperature

Couples divorce for many reasons, and communication problems are always high on the list. When a marriage finally fractures emotions are usually at their peak, which means talking and listening skills are at an all-time low. 

A divorce mediator is the calm, impartial voice in the room who can span the communication barrier. Unlike a lawyer, a mediator is not weaponized for one side or the other. Their job is to find a way through the complex emotions and bring the two of you to common ground even if they have to do the talking for you. 

Dealing With an Abusive Spouse

Tragically, not every relationship is free from emotional and physical abuse. Relationships can be extremely messy, and in some cases a divorce comes on the back of trauma that no one should ever have to bear. 

In these circumstances, a divorce mediator can play a critical role in helping plan a divorce and protecting vulnerable parties from cycles of escalating abuse. A good mediator has a broad and diverse understanding of the threats and nuances of these difficult situations, and they will be an ally who helps you make the best decisions even when you are in no position to handle the situation on your own. 

A Consultant During Litigation

In the event that your divorce goes to court, a mediator can still play an important role to help you get your best outcome. Lawyers deal in judgements, but a divorce mediator handles people.

There is no doubt that even during the ugliest divorce you are going to have to have some communication with your spouse. You will have to see them in court,  and you will probably need to request  things more than once if they aren’t cooperating with the process. 

How you handle these moments may not matter to your spouse but it matters to a judge. If you’re the reasonable, poised participant in the courtroom, everyone is going to catch on very quickly as to how this marriage might have ended up where it is today. Your mediator can help you stay in control, and advise you how to diffuse high-conflict tactics from an unreasonable and abusive individual. 

Mediate Your Way to a Better Future

So what does a mediator do in a divorce? Simple: they save you time, money, and heartache. Let Better Divorce Academy be your bridge to a healthier future with hopeful, solution-inspired opportunities. By working together, we can help you find the road to a stronger, emotionally empowered, and more financially secure future. 

Stay Updated

New Resource Notifications

Sign up for future updates and we’ll let you know when new courses, services, and free resources are available. 

I’m glad we’ll be staying in touch.

Stay Updated

Get the Divorce Checklist Emailed to You Now

The smart woman’s guide to gracefully divorce: 21 strategies to implement today. We’ll also let you know about additional Resources in the future.