“It must be stressful working with divorcing couples.” “There must be a lot of drama.” These are some of the comments I receive when I tell someone I work as a Phoenix Divorce Mediator. I quickly correct these assumptions about divorce mediation and explain how most couples have a relatively smooth divorce and tend to reach agreement on the majority of issues rather quickly. I even venture to offer that some of my clients have “friendly divorces.”
In general, most couples moving through the divorce process find that there are only a few key issues on which they disagree and actually are typically on the same page on most items. They just may have difficulty realizing this when communication may be difficult or strained. That is where many people find a divorce mediator to be helpful. Having a third party who is not emotionally involved can help couples sort through the myriad of issues they need to decide in a divorce. Figuring out the details of the parenting plan, division of assets and debts, spousal maintenance and child support can seem overwhelming at first. However, in mediation, most couples do reach agreement relatively easily on almost all of these topics. That is not to say that occasionally there are not tears or raised voices during a divorce mediation session. But that is OK and very human during an emotional experience. A mediator is able to manage the discussions so that each person’s perspective is acknowledged and supported while still helping the couple move forward with their decisions.
So, instead of stressful, I find working as a divorce mediator to be gratifying. I prefer to be part of process that can make a challenging situation feel less overwhelming and, in some cases, even healing.