Could Co-Mediation Work for You and Your Spouse?

Often in mediation, one party may feel like he/she is not being “heard” or understood by the mediator.  Depending on the gender of the mediator, either party may feel like that mediator doesn’t understand his/her perspective simply because of gender.  And despite the mediator’s best efforts, it’s often difficult to relate your experiences to a member of the opposite sex.

What if you and your spouse could have a two-fer?   What if, instead of working with a single mediator to prepare your Marital Settlement Agreement, you had the benefit of both a male and female mediator for the same price?  Welcome to Co-Mediation … using one male and one female mediator in every mediation session to assist each party exercise his/her own self-determination.  This option is available to help assure that your own personal needs and concerns are being met.

Benefits of Co-Mediation in Family Law:

This team-approach, whereby two co-mediators, male and female, work in unison with the disputing parties to reach a successful resolution, has a number of advantages:

  1. Cooperative learning.  By communicating through two professionals, who are skilled at maintaining a respectful discussion without resorting to litigation, the parties often learn by example how to improve their own communication skills for future post-divorce interactions.
  2. Efficiency.  A second professional allows you to divide and conquer the responsibilities, creating a more efficient (and less costly) mediation.
  3. Two-fers.  Two mediators means double the skill sets and twice the opportunity for a party to connect and build trust with a mediator.  One mediator may be an attorney, who can provide information about the legal process.  One mediator may be a therapist or counselor, who can provide valuable insight into co-parenting or other therapeutic needs.  Perhaps one mediator can offer his/her perspective from experience that only one gender can provide and relate to a similar-gender party.
  4. Team approach.  Like family therapy, co-mediation offers a controlled environment, where both parties can feel safe to voice their opinions, concerns or questions without fear of repercussion.  With the “group therapy” support of two mediators, the feeling that one mediator is taking sides is reduced.
  5. Cost mitigation.  Using a more efficient, team-approach to conflict resolution results in financial savings by avoiding costly and prolonged litigation.

The co-mediation paradigm offers the dual-perspective that a single mediator simply cannot provide, and creates a gender-neutral experience not otherwise available.  Most importantly, when all parties feel like they’re being heard and understood, they are more likely to find creative ways to successfully resolve their disputes.