mediation is a conflict medium. It finds spouses at their worst
struggling for their self esteem and self worth as human beings.
Their capacity for flexibility, compromise, and empathy is
overridden by anger, fear, grief resentment and revenge. The
conflict often found in divorce range from psychological
barriers, communication failure, theological differences,
systemic confusion and substantive conflicts. We, as mediators,
are called upon to diagnose the conflict and begin the process
of resolving the dispute utilizing various strategies and tools
at our disposal, be they conventional or non-conventional.
Child custody mediation is an outgrowth of a need to fully
understand the best interest of a child involved in a child
custody dispute. It is incumbent upon the mediator to guide the
parents in accommodating their child’s needs and also be mindful
of the parents needs, as well. The child needs to be recognized
as an individual in their own right and not be a weapon of
Despite the obvious fact that the divorcing couple is of
opposite genders, up until now, little attention has been paid
to the impact this gender difference can have on the outcome.
Gender is an unavoidable element in our society. Since the
couple, as well as the mediator is gendered we, at
Southern California Mediation Partners, believe the most
effective form of mediation in marital dissolution and child
custody is cross gender mediation.
Here are some of the reasons to mediate
rather than litigate your marital case:
(1) In the typical case the time it takes to come to a marital
settlement agreement is shorter with the use of mediation. Your
mediation may take one or more sessions, but there is no waiting
period or court calendar to take into consideration. You set
your own schedule which is certainly one of the most significant
benefits for many people.
(2) Divorce, through the court system, can be very costly. The
more court hearings and the longer the process takes, the more
costly it becomes. You have the control mediating your case
since it does not have to go before a judge, other than
execution of a court order for your marital settlement
agreement. The issues you choose to resolve are in your
complete control, not the courts.
(3) Mediation is totally protected, because your discussions are
confidential and we, as mediators, are under confidentiality and
immune from court subpoena.
(4) A resolution arrived at through mediation is usually more
acceptable to the husband and wife, because they are an integral
part of creating solutions to their issues.
(5) As mentioned above, marital settlement agreements reached
through mediation can fairly reflect the unique aspects of your
family and your culture. This can be particularly important for
Families who have immigrated to the United States.
(6) Relationships are often shattered by the adversarial nature
of divorce court. Mediation takes personal relationships into
account, and can often help couples understand each other and
work together to bridge a long-term relationship, which is a
significant benefit for couples who have children they will need
to parent for years to come.
Saposnek, Donald T. Mediating Child Custody Disputes, Josey