This morning, I read an interesting article that likened a mediator’s role in a divorce to that of a nurse caring for a sick patient. Lawyers, the author claims, are like doctors. They get in, do their job and leave. At no point will they provide their client with a shoulder upon which to cry. Whilst I agree with the sentiment that the author is expressing – specifically that mediators provide their clients with a valuable role – I cannot help but feel this nurse analogy is something of an underestimation.
Mediators, in many respects, are more skilled than lawyers and often produce more favourable results as well. Lawyers, you see, act on behalf of only one spouse whereas mediators work for both husband and wife and strive to assist both in arriving at an agreement that suits the needs of both parties. Lawyers are adversarial whilst mediators are cooperative.
Now, as I have long advocated the benefits of uncontested divorces were both parties agree to not only the divorce but the division of finances and childcare, I feel that it is often best to employ a mediator rather than instruct a lawyer.
Generally speaking, couples going that have gone through an uncontested divorce are left with significantly fewer emotional scars than couples that have been dragged through its confrontational, contested equivalent. This will allow them to recover from the divorce far more quickly.
An uncontested divorce is also likely to benefit the children of the marriage. Many assume that a divorce will have a profound effect on a child regardless of how it is handled and whilst this may be partly true, the way in which a divorce and post-divorce parenting is handled is far more likely to have a long lasting effect on any children of the marriage.
A contested divorce inevitably leads to battles between spouses and witnessing these disputes has a profound and negative effect on children. What’s more, feelings of resentment are likely to reside following the divorce and this can have an adverse effect on the need for divorcees to engage in effective co-parenting. Again, this is likely to leave any children of the marriage with psychological scars.
Fortunately, when a divorce has been amicable, children are far less likely to be affected. Furthermore, as feelings of resentment are doubtful, co-parenting will be far easier.
All in all, if the couple feel that there is any chance that an agreement to be reached, then a mediator should be consulted.
The Divorce Blogger writes for Quickie Divorce , the UK's leading divorce provider.