A previous post on this blog reminded our readers in the Denver area that they should not rule out divorce mediation just because they are going through a divorce, or a legal separation or other family law dispute, that is rife with conflict.
The post offered some suggestions about how a couple, and their attorneys, can overcome conflict and still resolve the issues through divorce mediation. While these suggestions are hopefully helpful, there are other techniques that may work to further reduce conflict.
For instance, many mediators will recognize the value of scheduling longer and more frequent mediation sessions when there is a sign of high conflict between the couple. The reason for doing this is not just to have an opportunity to layer, as the previous post discussed.
A mediator also needs more time to make sure that both sides have plenty of time to tell their stories and even lodge their complaints in a respectful manner. A lot of conflict can be resolved simply by making sure that both sides feel like they have been heard.
Another approach is to make sure that both sides understand that coming to an agreement can ultimately be mutually beneficial for the couple, to the point where there are no true losers. For example, a couple can focus on the emotional needs of their children to have a stable and loving relationship with both of their parents. In other situations, it becomes clear to the couple that mediating will save both of them money in the long run, possibly to the point of preventing financial hardship.
To reiterate, a resident of the greater Denver area should not reject mediation outright just because they are not getting along with their estranged spouse or significant other. Indeed, sometimes mediation may still be the best legal option in these circumstances, although specifics should be discussed with an experienced attorney.