Why do we need a mediator when we’ve figured it all out?

How to separate married couples into whole, healthy individuals

“Jenny—why are you asking me to talk to this mediator? We’ve already figured everything out. Can’t we just file and be done? We would save a ton of money!”

With tales of divorce costing tens of thousands of dollars ringing in their ears, many couples file for divorce on their own. Armed with online resources, they feel confident their situation is simple and forgo professionals. While desired outcomes may be straightforward and couples in full agreement, divorce is rarely simple. For one good reason.

When couples marry, they become “conjoined twins.” The purpose of marriage is to forge two separate individuals into one entity—legally, financially, and parentally.

Seeing the complexity

Conjoined twins might walk into a surgeon’s office and say, “Hey—what we want is pretty easy. We just need you to separate our heart, connect the arteries, and sew us up.” No one would think that reasonable.

To separate physically joined people, surgeons first must discern the underlying health of each individual and then educate both patients about all the ramifications of the surgery to ensure fully informed consent. Surgeons cover the healing of organs separated during surgery, the changes in body chemistry, the risks of infection, the physical therapy needed to recover, and so on.

During surgery, surgeons monitor circulation, oxygen levels, and other vital conditions; protect against infection; and ensure the organs, blood flow, and skin are expertly repaired. They then establish recovery protocols. Every step is needed to ensure twins are separated into two viable, healthy, functioning individuals.

The mediator as “surgeon”

Divorce is the delicate surgery of separating the marital one into two viable, healthy, functioning individuals. Though the desired outcome may be clear for both people, getting to that outcome requires attention to a myriad of details.

Details such as:

  • Understanding the underlying financial health of each person to ensure desired outcomes are feasible,
  • Creating a process for dividing assets in the least damaging ways and in ways that serve each person’s top priorities,
  • Detailing in parenting plans how parents will physically and financially care for children—on issues ranging from celebrating holidays; navigating school breaks; making decisions on health, education, and changing family situations; and paying for everything from child support to sports to cell phones to cars to college,
  • Addressing tax issues, and
  • Writing enforceable agreements that capture the couple’s desires and protect both people moving forward.

A couple may simply want to divide bank accounts, leave the house with Wife, and each keep their own retirement and cars. That seems easy.

But, how does Wife get Husband off the mortgage? Can she qualify for a mortgage on her own—at higher interest rates?  Does she also have to pay Husband his equity? If she can’t qualify for all this, will Husband stay on the mortgage? How long? Does that mean he can’t buy a house because of his liability for debt on Wife’s house? How does he eventually get off? And, that is just the house.

Thriving after “surgery”

Mediators walk clients through a process to make sure no issues are left open, that clients choose the best options for their circumstances, and that clients fully understand what those options mean. Mediators then write agreements courts will accept and can enforce as the couple intends. All for  a far more affordable price than typical litigation.

Surgeons expertly separate conjoined twins into two separate, whole, healthy individuals. Mediators do the same for divorcing couples.

If you would like more information about protecting children in divorce, please contact Resolution Mediation by clicking HERE or calling 317-793-0825. We look forward to serving you.

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People going through divorce often feel like they are stepping off a cliff. They are keenly aware they don’t know what they don’t know. We offer answers in a process that protects people, preserves assets, and provides a way forward. 

Call 317-793-0825 or contact us here.