{3:54 minutes to read} Some people anticipating a separation or divorce think or may have heard through the grapevine, about necessary prerequisites to starting Debunking 5 Myths Stopping Couples from Starting Mediation by Jennifer Safiandivorce mediation. You know how the grapevine is. You can’t rely on everything they say being correct.

So I thought it would be helpful to clarify 5 of the most frequently heard mythical statements given as reasons for not being ready to start the mediation process.

We have not yet filed for our divorce in court.

Many couples believe that they have to “file for divorce” before starting the mediation process. This is not necessary. In fact, the parties will not need to file any documents themselves. Once a couple has agreed to all the terms of their divorce, the mediator can help them with the next steps in order to get the divorce agreement completed and filed.

 We have not yet worked out the terms of our divorce together.

A couple does not have to work everything out before coming to mediation. Actually  many people who come to mediation have often not discussed much at all prior to their session. One of the advantages of mediation is the opportunity for the parties to discuss all their issues in the presence of a neutral professional who will facilitate their conversation so they can make all decisions together.

We have not decided what to do about the marital home.

Again, this is not something you need to work out before you begin mediation.  Making decisions about the marital home is difficult, but as the mediation progresses, things will become more clear to both of you.  Discussions will take into account various factors including:

  • Your finances;
  • Your respective attachment to the house;
  • The needs of the children;
  • One or both parties’ desire to actually maintain the house

You will then both be in a better position to make an informed decision as to what to do with the marital home.

We don’t get along.

It is probably because you don’t get along that you are getting separated/divorced in the first place. Avoiding mediation will not improve that situation. Instead, you could both benefit from having a mediator helping you work out all the issues of your divorce. And as a bonus, you may actually start communicating differently and in a more constructive way!

We have not yet retained lawyers.

You do not need to retain lawyers to begin a mediation. The mediation process encourages you to consult with lawyers at any time during that process if you need advice, as well as have separate lawyers review your agreement before you sign it. These attorneys charge on an hourly basis, and need not be “retained.” Your mediator can give you names of attorneys to  consult with.

Many people put off beginning their mediation because of these 5 myths, but that is exactly what they are, myths.  Don’t prolong what may be a very unhappy situation.  Make the call, set up your mediation appointment, and let the mediator assist you in creating your separation/divorce agreement so you can move forward with your life.

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
info@safianmediation.com
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