Albert and Diane were married for 19 years before they decided to get divorced.
Soon after they married, they bought a one-bedroom condominium in a neighborhood that, at the time, was not very desirable. A few years later, the 2 bedroom apartment next door was up for sale and they bought it. They combined the two apartments into a 3 bedroom unit. Over the years, the neighborhood improved a lot and they had two children.
When they decided to divorce they came to me for mediation.
Their main issue was the apartment which was worth a lot more than what they paid for it. They agreed to divide it to the original 2 separate apartments, but they couldn’t agree on who would get the larger 2 bedroom which faced the street, and who would get the smaller 1 bedroom apartment which faced a brick wall. The children were preteens and old enough to have strong opinions: They both wanted to keep their own rooms!
During mediation, we spent several sessions exploring options. After much discussion, and some arguing, the couple agreed on a compromise. Albert would get the 2 bedroom apartment which had the kids’ rooms. Each of the kids would keep their own room and Albert would sleep on a convertible sofa in the living room. The children would have dinner with Diane each night, and she would also maintain a computer for their use. All four family members were satisfied with this compromise.
Mediation provides people with the chance to explore and solve their own problems. During our mediation sessions Albert and Diane were able to treat their situation as a problem they could solve together. Rather than a battle one of them would win while the other would lose, the couple worked out their creative solution that met their family’s needs. They reached their agreement peacefully, and both of them completed their mediated divorce, feeling like winners.
All of their issues were resolved within 2 months and Diane and Albert’s costs were minimal, especially compared to the cost of a litigated divorce. More importantly, it was their solution, not one imposed on them by a judge.
In a litigated divorce, the lawyers would not have arrived at the creative decision that worked so well for this family. Also, a litigated Divorce could have taken years to resolve and cost this family their home.
Mediation is a more family-friendly way to get a divorce.