This guide will explain how a male and female co-mediation team can be an advantage to couples who have decided to divorce using mediation.
1. A male and female co-mediation team approach to divorce mediation addresses the needs and concerns of each party and the couple as a whole
I mediate with my partner. We provide a male – female co mediation model of mediation to our clients. By having a male and female mediator (neutral) present – the mediation process is gender balanced. Men and women think differently, act differently and feel differently. A male and female mediation team sitting across from a divorcing couple interact with each and with the couple in a way that makes known to the couple that these differences are okay, should be acknowledged and respected. This mediation model allows the couple to be in a neutral setting, while instilling in each of them a feeling of safety in airing their concerns, issues, hopes and fears. The airing of these concrete and not so concrete points promotes a more well thought out and detailed agreement.
2. A voluntary, confidential process that allows the couple to feel safe, remain in control and in the end reach a self made agreement
The process of mediation is voluntary and confidential. It enables the couple to work together to reach a self made agreement. The couple meet in a neutral place. They sit across from the male and female mediation team. The Mediators work together and with the couple towards the ultimate goal of coming to an agreement that will be reduced to writing; an agreement created by the couple and one that works for the couple as individuals and the family unit. Each person is unique. Some woman relate to other woman better while others relate to men better. The same holds true for men. By having a male and female co-mediation team, each party is represented and will feel respected. No one will or should feel that they are being pressured in any way towards reaching any part of the ultimate separation agreement. The mediation team acts as a guide for the couple. They help them to brainstorm and generate ideas that are reasonable and practicable to them and their family situtation.
3. A male and female co-mediation team compliments each other and is advantageous to the divorcing couple
Often times, my partner and I take on different tasks when mediating your divorce. He may ask preliminary questions for example: what does each party want to get out of the mediation, where and how do they see themselves and their family unit (if children are involved) in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years etc… ,are there any hot topics or immediate concerns that they feel need to be addressed right away. By tackling immediate concerns soon after beginning the mediation process it diffuses the difficult and often emotional situation. It provides the couple with a feeling that progress is being made. While my partner is asking these questions, I will write their responses on a white board so that each party can see their response and the response of their spouse. Sometimes seeing things puts them in perspective. Also, repeating and clarifying what the couples say and capturing their feelings about issues keeps everyone involved in the mediation process on the same page.
4. A male and female co-mediation model sets an example for the divorcing couple
A male and female mediator working together for and with a couple demonstrate to the couple that although maneuvering through the divorce process can be difficult in so many ways, it can be done in a respectful way with an eye toward the end in mind. Mutual interests are identified and each person is given equal air time to voice their concerns without interruption by the other. The male and female mediators working together compliment each other. Two sets of ears are better than one, it makes certain all concerns voiced are heard and acknowledged. Each mediator has strengths and weaknesses. By each of us working together, we make for a great mediation team and an incredible benefit to the divorcing couple.
5. A male and female co-mediation team who are both Attorneys – another advantage to the divorcing couple
My partner and myself are both Trained Mediators and Attorneys. The advantage being: we know how to identify issues and concerns, address those matters that arise in a way that is respectful to all involved and as needed, diffuse heating discussions that ultimately arise during this often difficult life event. As Mediators, we know how to guide the divorcing through the issues while fostering communication between them. We assist them in tackling each issue that is important to the couple as a whole and as individuals and we are sure to tackle those issues that are essential to a legal separation/divorce. As Attorneys we know the law, we know what needs to be in a separation agreement, we know how to prepare all the legal documents necessary for the court and we can educate the couple on the court process.
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