Self-determination stands out as one of the hallmarks of mediation and is one of its greatest benefits.
When you decide to mediate, you are electing to participate in a process where you and your partner control the outcome. As a mediator, I will guide you through the process. But the terms on which you conclude your marriage are ultimately within your control.
Self-determination is a highly valued attribute of mediation because divorce can be such a sensitive, personal family matter. Do you really want to leave your fate in the hands of third parties? I have yet to come across a person who would prefer to have a judge decide how to divide up personal assets or split parenting time. Rather, people strongly prefer to have a direct voice in how their life will be structured once they transition through divorce. When it comes to having maximum control over your future, there is simply no contest: mediation is the superior choice.
Self-determination is also valuable because it is practical. So often the particulars of a divorce agreement involve resolution of personal details about how your household operates. Will you agree to have your child attend ballet lessons? What if another child wants to participate in a traveling soccer team? Who gets the sentimental piece of artwork that you purchased with your spouse? Who gets the couch that you both love? How will you divide up season tickets? Do you really want to communicate through lawyers to resolve these personal matters? Isn’t it better and more practical to simply sit down with your spouse through a guided negotiation and resolve these differences and concerns?
You have been in control of your lives to this point and you are transitioning into a new chapter where you will want to retain control as to how your life is structured. Mediation affords you the chance to intentionally transition and to be proud of how you handled it. It will help set the course for the next phase of your life.