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Marriage Mediation FAQs

What is Marriage Mediation?

Marriage Mediation is a practical alternative for couples who wish to stay married and work on resolving disputes within their marriage. Many couples are committed to trying to work through issues and have often already tried therapy. The mediator helps the parties to be creative problem solvers to generate practical and realistic solutions. At the end of the mediation the mediator develops a concrete plan or code of conduct agreement to which the parties mutually agree to follow to address their marital conflict. This agreement is memorialized into writing. This document is entitled Agreed Terms, it is then signed by both parties. This agreement creates accountability within the marriage moving forward.

What is the Marriage Mediation process?

Marriage Mediation requires two to three meetings where collectively the couple identifies marital problems and structures solutions in a contract agreement.  Neither party has to commit to a certain number of sessions, but they do need to commit to the process.  Once a contract has been formed the couple comes back to meet with the mediator at a later date to determine if there has been follow through on the terms.

Why choose Marriage Mediation over therapy?

 Marriage Mediation is often used after therapy when attempts at therapy have been exhausted.  If both parties feel that therapy is not resolving their issues, Marriage Mediation can be the next step.  Therapy and Marriage Mediation are not mutually exclusive and can be worked in conjunction with each other.

How do Marriage Mediation and therapy differ?

Therapy and Marriage Mediation are similar in the fact they both focus on saving the marriage.  However, Marriage Mediation builds in an accountability component in the form of an agreement.  After the couple has identified their core problems they negotiate and sign the contract.  This is a formal commitment that requires actions rather than words.  The phrase actions speak louder than words is at the core of Marriage Mediation.  After the agreement is drafted and signed the couple returns within a few weeks to see if there has been follow through on the terms.  There is a check in and each person is held accountable to the agreement.  Commitment to resolving marital problems becomes clearer when each party is held accountable and required to follow through on specific actions.

What happens if we have not attended therapy?

Therapy is not a prerequisite for attending Marriage Mediation.  Marriage Mediation is attractive to people who do not wish to attend therapy for a number of reasons.  Some people think therapy can be a drawn out process with no end in sight and couples feel therapy can be frustrating and too long term.

How does Marriage Mediation work?

Each case is different. Each person is different. How they approach problems are different. The goal of Marriage Mediation is to identify underlying causes of problems and creatively problem solve with the couple. The parties own the outcome. Ultimately, if a couple can problem solve and reach a resolution together the chance of them problem solving long term is far more likely.

Do you need an attorney for Marriage Mediation?

Attorneys are not required for Marriage Mediation. This process is designed to help couples resolve issues for a happier marriage rather than divorce. Parties do not “lawyer up”, but problem solve with the mediator.

Is Marriage Mediation confidential?

All conversations within Marriage Mediation are confidential including all communication between the parties and mediator.  This confidentiality creates an environment of openness and transparency  in turn often rebuilding trust between the parties.  The exchange of information is provided to assist the couples in furthering their marriage rather than as leverage if the process were to not work out and divorce be the next step.

What happens if Marriage Mediation fails?

If a marriage is unable to be saved Marriage Mediation can often help couples to accept they have tried their best to save the  marriage.  That in itself can emotionally prepare parties to transition into considering separation and/or divorce.