Conflict is an inevitable and pervasive part of human psychology and social relationships. The traditional approach to conflict is a flight or fight response. The kinds of emotions that trigger this response are hurt, anger, fear, vulnerability and pain, the triggers that can bring a couple or a relationship to the brink of separation and divorce. When the level of conflict is high the fight or flight leads to a situation where the disputants want to fight and win. If someone wins, then naturally the other person loses.
While in the midst of intense feelings it may be hard to believe that things will change, or that one has the power to make a difference. Some parties may flee and seek the courts and/ or an attorney for a remedy. Some may feel stuck and remain in a negative situation until it becomes unbearable. Regardless, the conflict is dealt with, either through avoidance or more directly through a form of dispute resolution. For couples, when avoidance no longer works, mediation should be considered because the possibility of a win/win is better than the alternatives.
Mediation is attractive because it allows the parties to take control of their situation and the resolution of their dispute. In the marital arena parties can go to mediation for division of property in divorce; to work out child support and spousal support; to work on parenting issues around children; to work out custody; and for all of these. Mediation allows a forum for the parties to air their concerns and grievances, to talk honestly and work out solutions that they craft together. Mediation provides a safe place to come to a negotiated agreement and resolve marital conflict in a positive way. When parties can work together to craft either a division of property, or a custody schedule or a support plan this, most importantly, allows for a positive relationship going forward into the future Continue Reading