The role of a divorce mediator is to help a couple reach agreements about their divorce. A mediator does not act as a therapist. There is no delving into their underlying issues or processing the reason for their divorce. Mediation deals with the practical topics in a divorce. What is the issue and what is the decision you land on regarding this issue? The process itself is what promotes more of a positive outcome, especially for co-parents. The couple sees that, even though it may be difficult, they can work together when it comes to their children. Success begets more success. And people are more likely to follow through with an agreement that they had input into. They are more likely to follow the terms of their own decisions rather than one that a random judge assigned to them or that their lawyer asked for even though they did not want it (which happens in the movie). So, couples are less likely to have to return to court for any post-divorce changes to their divorce agreement than if they litigated.
The divorce mediators at Westfield Mediation, LLC, understand how scary and difficult divorce can be and work with the couple to break down the process into smaller, more manageable steps. The unknown can be overwhelming. This is why people often turn to divorce attorneys to just get it done, rather than mediation. This is well portrayed in the movie. However, what starts out amicably and with the best intentions can quickly spiral into a horrible, expensive, emotionally draining, custody battle and divorce process. It seems clear in the movie that neither parent wants this and they are a little bewildered at how they ended up there. Even though I think Marriage Story does an inaccurate job of portraying the actual mediator, I think it does a wonderful job of promoting divorce mediation.
For more information on divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M. Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.