Common Myths of a Mediated Divorce

A mediated divorce isn’t about settling for less. In fact, the payoff for many couples is greater peace of mind and security for themselves and any children in the mix. Divorce mediation is a prudent, mature way to handle an emotional, significant relationship that is also a business and financial matter in the eyes of the courts.

According to an article by, a divorcing couple meets with a mediator to work out issues related to finances, child custody and the divorce terms. Of course, mediation isn’t right for everyone. Still, it pays to consider your choices. Before making a decision about how to proceed with a divorce, talk to a Minneapolis family law attorney as legal representation during the mediation is important to help you know your legal rights.

It’s going to end in name-calling

Some people are all for mediating, but not with their own spouse. It’s intimidating to think about sitting down with a spouse after violations of trust or anger over the disappointments. Even if you can’t stand the thought of sitting at a table with your spouse, understand the benefits of mediation. A mediator keeps the discussion focused on productive actions so there is no time for name-calling, cold stares and finger pointing and at times a mediator may meet with people in separate rooms.

It will give my spouse false hope

Another misconception is that divorced mediation is about one last-ditch effort to save a marriage. A spouse intend on divorcing often feels like the proceedings will give the other spouse false hopes about reuniting. Mediation is not couples therapy. In fact, the purpose of mediation is to figure out the best way to go separate ways without crippling one person financially or neglecting what is in the best interest of any children in the mix.

My family’s assets will be at risk

Just because you agree to divorce mediation does not mean your family’s heirlooms will get into the wrong hands. During mediation, other financial professionals aid in the decision. From tax attorneys and accountants to real estate appraisers, professionals can analyze assets while you discuss fair terms for dividing assets. No one will rush you into making a hasty decision about high-valued family heirlooms, houses, cars or other prized possessions. Most people work hard over the years to accumulate what they have.

I’ll lose access to my children

Some people believe the myth that the only way to fight for custody is in the courtroom. In actuality, you have more time to discuss a co-parenting agreement with a mediated divorce. Most couples share a common desire for the children to flourish and prosper. Sometimes parents need to improve their communication skills to get on the same page. When going through mediation, focus on your children. Children do best with both parents in their lives.

It’s the only way to achieve a win-win

Although divorce mediation is a positive strategy, it’s not the only way to achieve a win-win. Mediation is not always the best path for some couples. For example, if your spouse suffers with narcissistic personality disorder or other disorders that create a more explosive dynamic, mediation can work but may be difficult. In cases of emotional and physical abuse, drug addiction and alcoholism as well as a secretive spouse who hides assets, divorce mediation may not always be the best way to proceed.

The mediator will tell me what to do

If you decide a mediated divorce is your best plan, get together a mediation checklist to make sure you stay out of court and on the right path. Contrary to what some people assume, a mediator does not give advice or tell you what to do. Instead, it’s an alternative way of resolving a divorce dispute. The goal of the mediator is to iron out issues including alimony, spousal support, parenting plans, division of debts and division of assets including marital property. It is a tool in the divorce process. To understand your legal rights and receive legal advice, you will need to hire an attorney.

I’ll be forced to talk

While mediation is a voluntary process, no one will force you to talk about issues if you don’t want to. At the same time, the process is more successful when each person cooperates or actively participates. If you don’t work at the process, divorce mediation is not likely to work for you. When mediating, try to walk into the room with the attitude of willingness to compromise.

I’ll have to see his or her new significant other

If you are worried about seeing your in-laws or your spouse’s new significant other at the mediation, cast that concern aside. Divorce mediation is only about the married partners. It’s not the time or place for new love interests, in-laws and others to intervene. In fact, most experts suggests resisting the urge to gossip or talk about the details of the divorce mediation. Lean on friends and family for emotional support, but rely on prudent legal advisers for help in the proceedings.

With all the financial and emotional complexities of divorce, it’s natural to want to get through the divorce as soon as possible. Focus on fair and equitable settlements so you don’t have regrets in the future. While your marriage is over, the relationship doesn’t need to end on a bitter note.

At Beckman Steen & Lungstrom, P.A., we help our clients with a variety of legal issues including child support, custody and parenting time and divorce. For more information the pros and cons of a mediated divorce and benefits of hiring a Minneapolis family law attorney, please contact us.