Is Timing Everything? Part 2

Sandy Balick of continues the discussion on how mediation can be very effective and productive even when the timing seems less than ideal.Where circumstances are ripe for mediation – both spouses are agreed that separation and/or divorce is the goal and that they wish to settle things in an environment in which they, alone, determine what’s fair – the decision to proceed is easy.

In more clouded circumstances, couples may struggle with next steps. Mixed feelings may act to complicate the picture such as a desire to stay together until the children have reached a certain age or have completed high school.

Consideration should be given to therapy – either in a couples setting or, perhaps, individually, where each spouse would be speaking with her/his own therapist,  trying to address the failing marriage in the context of the spouse’s particular objective.

It’s not unusual, of course, for a couple debating next steps with regard to separating or ending a marriage, to have already attempted therapy (or, that it is even ongoing).

Where therapy has not helped to resolve the course of the marriage and there is a shared feeling that ending it may be inevitable, couples may wish to attempt mediation. Mediation should not be entered into lightly. On the other hand, mediation is a relatively inexpensive way to confront the issues head-on. Completing financial disclosure and figuring the cost of maintaining separate households will bring many issues into focus. Certain issues that may have been a barrier to proceeding with divorce, such as a house that’s the main marital asset and which is “underwater,” is frequently a stumbling block to progress. Through discussion, and with the assistance of the mediator, alternative approaches to the circumstances can be addressed.

Sometimes a mechanism may be found to defer an asset sale whole, allowing the separation or divorce to proceed. Sometimes, couples faced with the financial and logistical realities of the circumstances, feel impelled to work at continuing the marriage, perhaps even starting couples therapy for the first time. Reconciliations are not unheard of results in the mediation process.

Since no retainer fees are incurred and sessions are paid for on an as-you-go basis, a fortune is not committed to the process. Most importantly, merely entering into a mediation process does not bind the participants to complete it or to divorce.

So, while the timing of mediation may not appear ideal, it may prove to be a very effective means to work through issues – regardless of the outcome.

Feel free to ask any questions, to comment, or to request more information in the Comments Box below. Also, please feel free to forward this blog to anyone you know who might be interested in its topic.

Sanford (Sandy) Balick, Attorney & Mediator, NY Sandy Balick signature
Sanford E. Balick, Esq.
Founder & Principal Mediator
Consensus Point Mediation, LLC.

Phone: (646) 340-3434


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