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How Was Your Mediation Experience? Reflections from Clients

Periodically we want you to hear directly from our clients about their mediation experience. Did it “work”? Well, yes the former clients we spoke to, after their mediation process ended, are divorced; but what specifics did they mention that might help those who are considering divorce mediation?

Q: Overall, how was your Divorce Mediation experience?

  • Our mediator made all aspects of our negotiations clear and helped my (now former) husband and me find middle ground – which had not been possible previously.” (Female, 7+ year Marriage, No children)
  • I became more optimistic about my future as a single person, through this process, and learned something about how to handle my finances in the future. I also feel that I learned how to negotiate better not only with my ex-spouse, but with others as well. (Female, 10-year Marriage, 2 children)
  • Going into this process I was very nervous about my future and being able to maintain certain things in my life. When I was finished with mediation I felt more confident in my ability to move forward as a single person and understood more about how to handle my finances in the future. (Female, 15 year Marriage, 3 children)

We also went back to some or our former clients to see how they felt about their Post-Divorce relationships. Mostly things work if you get divorced in a timely manner and if you both feel it is a fair agreement. But there are some nuances, which you might not have considered.

Q: Was your post-divorce relationship helped by having gone through mediation?

  • We got to a more positive, palatable spot than we would have had we litigated the divorce.
  • Yes! Keeping a good dialogue and working relationship during mediation enabled us to move forward. And, as a result, we have been able to co-parent amicably and effectively together since the divorce. (Male, 20 yr. Marriage, 4 children)

Q: Have you been satisfied with your Agreement and the terms outlined?

  • Yes… I feel the outcome was more fair than it may have been…had we litigated it.
  • Yes, absolutely, and even though my ex has remarried and) constantly challenges it… the agreement does help protect me.
  • Yes: While I feel I might have “done better” via litigation, it would have destroyed our ability to parent as a team.

Q: Would you recommend mediation to others considering Separation or Divorce?

  • YES! I already have … My former spouse and I both spent thousands on lawyers with little to no progress before trying mediation. Our mediator was efficient and had both of our best interests in mind. Mediation is the best option in an uncomfortable & stressful situation!
  • Yes! The mediator took the time to work through every issue and protect us for the future, in the fairest way possible.
  • Yes – for the post-divorce relationship to remain amicable, and also for our children’s sake.

Q: When you reflect on the mediation process, what did you find the most valuable/helpful?

  • Our mediator gained the trust of my former spouse (difficult to do) and was able to move us forward towards decisions instead of endless circular arguments about perceived wrongdoings.
  • Having an independent third party explain financial issues to my spouse who was not as educated on those issues.

Lynne Halem

Dr. Lynne C. Halem is the director at the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution in Wellesley, MA. Dr. Halem has worked in the mediation field since 1982. She is on the Family Dispute Service Panel of the American Arbitration Association and a past board member of the Divorce Center,… MORE

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