Divorce mediation has evolved as a way to help married couples who wish to divorce to negotiate satisfactory settlements in lieu of struggling with litigation. And because marriage is an institution in which laws establish obligations and entitlements the resolution of such legal constraints as a condition of divorce makes divorce mediation appear dominated by legal concerns. But, in fact, most divorcing couples do not have issues of complex legal doctrines. Rather most middle class people have a lot of practical problems to solve, namely all the issues around how to efficiently use the resources of the family to optimize the welfare of all members of the family. The slowly growing popularity of divorce mediation reflects a growing recognition that the adversarial legal system often gets in the way of expeditious problem solving.
So it occurs to me that mediation should be more frequently used by couples who have, to some degree, cast their lot together and whose relationships are often threatened by disputes the couple cannot resolve. And just as with married couples, the failure to resolve disputes to the satisfaction of both partners often leads to the end of the relationship. And because non-married couples are not fettered by legal constraints, breaking up is easier and accomplished without most of the complications attendant on divorce. But from the perspective of couples who would prefer to stay together, or for those couples who want to part gently and with a sense of fairness, mediation should be considered as a vehicle for improving the way they resolve their disputes.
Sam Margulies, Ph.D., J.D. is one of the most experienced mediators in the United States. Since 1980, he has mediated hundreds of civil disputes and approximately four thousand divorces including many complex multi-million dollar matters.
He is also an expert on conflict resolution, working on a book on this topic for couples, married and not. Author of several books on divorce, Sam Margulies is an empathetic and knowledgeable guide through the difficult journey of relationships. Feel free to contact Sam with your questions and to talk about your marriage or divorce.