The Power of Mediation
The week of October 17th, 2022 is Mediation Week in Massachusetts and around the country. Mediation Week is always the third week of October. The American Bar Association describes the purpose of Mediation Week as a week to “educate the public about mediation” and to encourage “all to recognize the importance of the work of neutrals, advocates, and policy makers and celebrate the strides we have made in institutionalizing mediation as a dispute resolution process”.
The value of mediation was brought to the forefront for me in a recent mediation case, where a mediation client asked at the end of the divorce mediation process, “Will you miss us?”
While perhaps said jokingly, it felt like a very real question to me.
These parties had a successful mediation process because:
- They mutually chose an out of court process for their divorce, despite their marital conflict.
- They worked hard to resolve their issues.
- They put their children first.
- They thought of each other and not just themselves during negotiations.
- They were able to make compromises.
- It was not an easy mediation nor negotiation, but they stuck with it.
- They got the advice of lawyers and used that information reasonably and respectfully.
- They were able to bring humor into an otherwise sad and difficult situation.
Mediation created a safe space for the parties to resolve their differences. Trust was established around the mediation table. I trusted the parties to be open and transparent, and they trusted me, as the mediator, to create an environment where they felt free to exchange information, ideas and creative solutions. I got to know both parties and appreciate not just their differences, but their mutual goal to resolve matters respectfully and in a way that preserved family relationships going forward between themselves and their children, despite divorce. When a client asks if you are going to miss them, they are letting you know that they appreciated the work that you did and that there was, in fact, a relationship established between mediator and clients that contributed to a positive outcome.
It is an honor as a mediator to work with divorcing couples who allow me to see into their lives for even a brief moment, at a time when they are feeling so vulnerable, and to help them navigate a pathway to resolution. During Mediation Week, while recognizing the importance of the professionals in mediation, let’s not forget the clients who make it happen. So, will I miss those clients? Yes.
Learn more about Mediation here.
To discuss your family law matter and learn more about mediation, Collaborative Law or settlement counsel, please contact us.