So, you are getting a divorce. As a couple you can choose Integrative Mediation over litigation and avoid letting a family law judge decide important questions.
Will you ask a judge to decide:
- Where your children will live?
- Where they will go to school?
- Whether and when they will receive medical treatment?
- Whether you will be paying support that will bankrupt you?
- Whether and when you will be able to keep or sell your house?
- Whether you will be getting support that will allow you to stay in your community?
- Whether you will be punished for stupid mistakes that you make in the heat of the moment during what could be the worst crisis of your life?
Family law judges decide multi-million dollar complex family law case even when they have:
- Never practiced family law
- Never balanced a checkbook
- Never read a psychological report
- Never been married
- Never been divorced
- Never had children
- Never been a litigant of any kind.
As a family law litigator from 1984 into 2018, I can tell you that some of the decisions Family Law judges make can be devastating emotionally and financially. They try to make good decisions but without sufficient time, knowledge or experience they often err.
I don’t know about you but if I’m having heart surgery, I want a specialist who has completed an internship, residency, and thousands of surgeries. I want to choose my surgeon based on reputation and experience. I want that surgeon to have a good team supporting my recovery from the trauma.
When my husband and I separated in 2006 I had already been a Family Law Specialist since 1993, a Family law litigator since 1984 and a mediator since 1988.
During our separation we continued to go to couples counseling and tried mediation with an excellent family law mediator. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a therapist attorney team because my company, The Mediation Group, was the only practice I knew of that was offering therapist/ attorney teams. That has now changed. Integrative Mediation Bay Area (IMBA) offers information to help you put together the right team for you.
My former husband and I struggled through and eventually resolved our differences but not without unnecessary pain and suffering. My experience in my own divorce has deepened my dedication to the interdisciplinary work of IMBA. I am very grateful that now, 10 years post-divorce, a thriving community of attorney/therapist teams provides great services to couples looking for a smart divorce.
Eventually I learned that the loss of my marriage was a gift. During my divorce I learned how to work my support network like I never did before. The pain was inevitable, so I used that pain to nurture as much growth and insight as I could stand. It was a gift that I didn’t ask for and I didn’t want.
IMBA offers you the opportunity to get all of the benefits I eventually received from my individual process, without all of the unnecessary pain I endured. The collaborative divorce process, though amazing, was not the right fit for us. We were two extroverted introverts who found the collaborative process to be too awkward and too uncomfortable, with too many people at the table.
We tried regular mediation. Unfortunately, after our first session and the inability to address emotional issues my husband refused to go back to mediation. Without assistance, we limped along through a painful year of kitchen table diplomacy. The resulting settlement left each of us bitter and on our own to find our individual paths out of the wilderness. I was envious of the couples my therapist mediation partner and I had helped.
In the next blog, I will discuss Why Integrative Mediation would have helped me.