Mediation

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Mediation of divorce cases became a major movement in the 1980's. Bruce Louden was a pioneer nationally in the mediation field, mediating cases since 1981 and speaking on such at national lawyer conferences in 1983 and 1989, and a Connecticut seminar in 1992.

Divorce mediation is not therapy or marriage counseling, although we consider it a more therapeutic way to go through the divorce process. There also is a common misconception that mediation is designed to preserve or reconcile marriages. Most people who go through mediation in fact end up divorced. However, studies show that 90% of the parties who go through mediation remain satisfied with their settlements and abide by them.

Divorce mediation requires three people who wish to go about consideration of terminating a marriage in a special manner: two reasonable spouses and a mediator acting as a guide/facilitator. The success of mediation depends upon the candor, desire, sensitivity and competence of the three participants. If spouses or partners are in good faith and wish to deal openly and reasonably with each other, and if they work with a competent and caring mediator, the result generally is positive.

We view a mediator's job as helping couples see that their relationship, especially when children are involved, is not ending. Rather, the family relationships are being restructured. In the process everyone's needs will be examined and revised, as family arrangements are made in a cooperative manner.

Ben Callaghan