The paths divorcing couples take to resolve their divorce issues vary. For example, some couples may take the litigation route. Others may take the mediation route. Others may work everything out on their own. There are different paths available.
Likewise, each divorce situation is unique, with its own set of issues. Some issues may be simple to resolve, others may be more complex.
How to Solve Complex Divorce Issues
The path of divorce mediation may not a suitable path for every divorcing couple. However, if divorce mediation is the chosen path, here are some items to consider when discussing complex issues:
Divorce mediation can provide an environment for the parties to brainstorm and work together with the help of a neutral mediator. Think cube, not coin, when brainstorming. A coin has only two sides, a cube has six. While brainstorming, one idea may lead to a better idea and that to an even better idea. Brainstorming an issue can help the parties realize that there are several ways to resolve an issue, and some ways are better than others. Brainstorming may also help with the parties’ communication and ability to work together.
Flowchart the Issue
Sometimes visual assistance, such as a flowchart, can be very helpful when trying to work out a complex issue. The mediator, as a neutral, can assist the couple as a facilitator by moderating the discussion, asking open-ended questions, and simultaneously drafting the flowchart on a whiteboard, flip chart, or some other device.
Consult with a “Mediation Friendly” Attorney
Prior to discussing a complex issue in mediation, each party may consider discussing the issue with a “mediation-friendly” attorney. This may help the individual party better understand the complexities of the issue by peeling back the layers and discussing the issue privately with a legal advocate. As the divorce mediator does not act as an advocate for either party, the mediator may not be able to provide such an evaluation of an issue in mediation.
Seek Help from Other Neutral Professionals
In addition to the mediator, the couple may decide to seek assistance from other neutral professionals within the mediation setting. Some examples may be financial professionals and therapists. These individuals, acting as neutrals, may be able to help the divorcing couple dissect the issue, provide ideas and help them with a plan for moving forward.
Hash Out the Details
Complex divorce issues often do not have quick fix resolutions. The issue itself may have several parts to address. As part of the mediation process, patience is often needed by both parties in order for them to each understand the issue, identify all of the parts, address each part, and work out a resolution. Depending on the issue, the assistance of other professionals, in addition to the mediator, may be needed at some point in this process. Working out the details on the front end can help avoid post-divorce issues, which may lead to litigation.
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