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She is a Licensed Mental Health counselor and a Certified Conflict Mediator. Sarah owns Shrewsbury Counseling Center, and co-owns Shrewsbury Mediation Associates. For this week, her column will be found here on the main page, but moving forward you’ll be able to view it at the Columnists tab up on the main navigation bar above. Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful and informative.
OK, so it’s not the most popular topic to discuss. Divorce has traditionally been associated with hostility, custody battles, financial ruin and mental exhaustion… why? Because when you think “divorce”, you think “fight”. This does not compare to the time and money spent having others “argue” your case, in front of a “judge”. No wonder the subject is so taboo!
Divorce is difficult. Hard choices need to be made. That does not necessarily mean that it has to adversarial or costly as well! One person doesn’t need to win by having the other lose. In this day and age, mixed families, foster families, single-parent and “step” families are becoming more and more the norm, isn’t it time we made the process of two individuals separating easier? It benefits everyone to take a breath and try to work through their own situations.
Divorce doesn’t have to be the nasty, petty war it is made out to be. In fact, because divorce is becoming, regrettably, more common, people are choosing to make their own decisions and draw up their own agreements. Courts are perfect for those who need a decision made for them. The guidelines that judges must adhere to, when settling a divorce, seem amenable to the traditional couple of the era where women stayed home and men worked. These laws applied to the separating couple of today usually end up crippling one or both parties financially, emotionally or both. In mediated agreements, Individuals can come up with whatever terms they want resulting in a much more amicable, cost effective result! I like to call it the “win-win” option.
Divorce Mediation is a collaborative approach in assisting both parties in coming to a fair and equitable agreement, based on their individual circumstances. In fact, mediated agreements are more successful than litigated ones because both parties are willing participants and not forced to be there. Some other advantages to mediation are:
• Mediation Sessions are conducted in a private, neutral setting
• It is a non-adversarial approach to conflict solution
• It is a FRACTION of the cost of litigation
• It is client driven as opposed to court driven
• A mediator works for both parties
Situations where mediation is not appropriate are in cases of spousal abuse, child abuse or neglect, mental impairment of an individual or in cases where the divorcing party is unable to sit together and talk rationally about their situation- ever!
To learn more about the mediation process, please feel free to visit our website www.shrewsburymediation.com or drop in to one of our FREE “Divorce with Dignity” workshops where we will have couples counselors, child counselors, financial advisors and divorce attorneys available to answer any questions you may have.
Sarah Cole Camerer, M.Ed., LMHC ~ Mediator is a Licensed Mental Health counselor and a Certified Conflict Mediator. She owns SHREWSBURY COUNSELING CENTER and co-owns SHREWSBURY MEDIATION ASSOCIATES.
www.shrewsburycounseling.com ~ www.shrewsburymediation.com