My role as a divorce mediator is to help couples communicate and negotiate effectively.
My role as a divorce mediator is to help couples communicate and negotiate effectively, proffer a variety of options and alternatives for the resolution of issues, and provide legal, financial, tax and other information – all in furtherance of increasing each spouse’s ability to make fully informed decisions and reach agreement.
However, we all know that emotions can impair the ability to make informed decisions. It is for this reason that in working with divorcing couples, I place emphasis on helping them understand and cope with grief.
In this paper, I will explain the relevancy of grief to divorce mediation. I will also delineate the benefits that accrue when mediators acknowledge and normalize the emotions common to grief.
It thus becomes essential for mediators to help divorcing couples understand and cope with grief, and thereby lessen its effects on informed decision making. For those who are recurrently angry or sad, the mediator must acknowledge and normalize their grief humbly and empathically. For those who are stuck in a depression that visibly affects their judgment, the mediator must encourage support from an attorney or mental health professional.
No matter their stage upon entering mediation, most divorcing parties benefit when mediators acknowledge and normalize grief humbly and compassionately. The simple acknowledgement (e.g., “I can see how angry you are…) and normalization of grief (e.g., “…and in my experience that’s very common and normal”) often goes a long way to diminish the intensity of grief. Some parties come out of the shock of denial and begin to experience helpful emotions; for example, they begin to express their anger. Others leave depression behind.
Children are also likely to benefit when mediators make grief known and help parents advance toward acceptance. As parents move past the early and frequently volatile stages of grief, children progress more readily through their own grief. This is particularly true for minor children who typically have far fewer coping skills than adults.
Greater trust also accrues when mediators reveal grief. By uncovering grief, mediators give divorcing couples the assurance that their mediator has the desire and equanimity to manage emotional outbursts. It is for this reason that I make it point to reveal grief as early as possible, preferably during a pre-mediation consultation, by disclosing the anger and sadness I experienced in my own divorce.
Acknowledging and normalizing grief also provides fertile ground for mediators to demonstrate empathy, humility and compassion. These are the three human qualities that Situational™ mediators believe are most likely to lessen grief and thus help divorcing couples broaden perspectives, change positions and reach agreement.
For all of these reasons, it is vital that mediators look for opportunities to make grief known and help divorcing couples understand and cope with it. It is in this way that mediators can best help divorcing couples communicate and negotiate, consider a wide range of options and alternatives, and understand the legal and financial information necessary to make informed decisions.
The professionalism, organization, ability to completely explain and make aware of all the options possible were kindly delivered by Oliver. I would not look anywhere else for a better mediator
Judy BarretoFormer Client
Oliver and his staff made this difficult time in our lives so much easier. The approach to divorce was handled with concern for our emotional, as well as financial, well-being. We both came out feeling as though we were treated fairly and given sound advice for going forward.
Tracy RFormer Client
My experience using Out-of-Court-Solutions was extremely positive and I highly recommend their services to anyone facing as difficult a situation as a divorce or separation.
Jenna MarieFormer Client
Out-of-Court Solutions guided us through the difficult process of divorce. Valuable information was provided that enabled us to formulate intelligent decisions.
Sherry WrightFormer Client
Out-of-Court Solutions guided us through the difficult process of divorce. Valuable information was provided that enabled us to formulate intelligent decisions. Both our mediator and his support staff were very supportive when emotions surfaced and due to their calm and professional approach made a tough situation easier to navigate.
Sherry AlmondFormer Client
I could not have hoped for a better experience in reaching a settlement. I’m forever grateful for Oliver’s help. He’s the best!
David RogersFormer Client
Out-of-Court Solutions provided me the information I needed to make all the necessary, and sometimes difficult, decisions during my divorce. They walked me through every aspect of the divorce process and promptly answered all my phone and email inquiries. Their compassion, guidance and knowledge combined with their affordability is why I give them a 5 star recommendation. Thank you Amanda, Cassie and Tamara!
Joanne GutierrezFormer Client
The team at Out of Court Solutions made a very uncertain and stressful process super easy. The team was responsive, timely, and thorough. I was pleasantly surprised with streamlined the guidance and process was.
Rachael OhtonFormer Client
Out of Court Solutions is everything that it’s name implies-plus a lot more! They bring simple, but thorough processes to what is always a hard and emotional set of decisions. TRUE professionals ! Out of Court Solutions simplifies the divorce process and does it cost effectively.
Allen LorenziFormer Client
I’m Barry Brooks and I confess I have not worked with Oliver Ross and his team at Out of Court Solutions. But the reason I’m writing is I have had several of my friends do so and have had terrific resolutions for all parties involved. No hostility often typically found with divorce attorneys. And they feel that they saved themselves a lot of aggravation, time as well as money. Very highly recommended!
Barry BrooksFormer Client