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Levitt Family Law & Mediation’s Blog

Navigating through the Stormy Seas of Divorce: How a Mediation Strategist Can Help – Part 2

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Divorce, Mediation

by Dr. Gina Arons

What is a Mediation Strategist?

When I meet couples who are contemplating a divorce, I pause to think with them about what brought them to this point. 

Every couple develops strategies for decision-making. Each individual has their own decision-making style and couples typically find ways to integrate them to create something balanced. If they have children, differing perceptions and concerns about their needs can complicate the process.

When a couple decides to divorce, it is often because their strategies for handling decisions while remaining emotionally connected have failed. They often enter the divorce process without good strategies for joint decision-making. Being able to think clearly, generate alternatives and consider multiple options is essential not only to create a balanced separation agreement, but for each individual’s future and often the family’s well-being.

In mediation, the mediator works with a couple to create agreements that ultimately lead to a divorce which, ideally, addresses the needs of both parties.  However, old strategies can interrupt the process. As a Mediation Strategist, I offer couples the opportunity to consider the strategies they have used in their relationship thus far that have worked well and those that have not. I help couples think strategically about how to participate in decisions about how to end their marriage in a way that takes into account the needs, wishes and concerns of both parties.

What Services Does a Mediation Strategist Offer?

A Mediation Strategist works with a mediator to prepare clients for a constructive and efficient divorce process. Throughout the mediation, they can provide a variety of useful services: 

  • Identifying individual and couple’s decision-making strategies that may impact the mediation process.
  • Discussing communication strategies to help both parties feel heard, seen, and understood.
  • Developing positive joint decision-making strategies.
  • Working with the mediator before a meeting to identify obstacles that may interfere with the resolution of difficult issues.
  • If wanted or needed, a Mediation Strategist may help facilitate mediation sessions in real time and speak with individuals separately in breakout rooms as needed to identify optimal strategies during challenging moments.

Examples of issues a Mediation Strategist might identify:

  • Concerns about what is “fair”
  • Perceptions about the needs of children or other family members
  • Histories of parties feeling judged by the other
  • Power and control issues and patterns
  • Tensions around money and its meaning to each party
  • Symbolism carried by particular material objects
  • Old, unexamined assumptions about one another

Stay tuned for part III of this series as we explore the role of the Mediation Strategist.

Learn more about mediation here.

If you need help with your family law matter, contact us.

Dr. Gina Arons is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience. She is also an experienced Collaborative Law Coach, mediator and consultant to couples and families dealing with dispute and divorce issues. Dr. Arons and Attorney Levitt have worked together on many cases, and have collaborated to provide training and education in mediation and Collaborative Law.  Their shared interest in creative processes for dispute resolution was an impetus for this joint blog series. For more information you can view her website at drginaarons.com