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Practice Makes Perfect

Stock Photo Practice Makes Perfect - Image of man practicing saxophone holding music up with his foot.

{3 minutes to read}  There are 24,601 reasons why divorce mediation is preferable to divorce litigation. One of them, however, is that when a couple engages in mediation, they can create the details of their post-divorce life by figuring out together what works. In mediation, they can talk directly to one another about important matters, something divorcing couples often find very difficult to do outside of that setting. Over time, such conversations not only allow the couple to work out the details of the divorce — and creating a new life is no small matter — but help them create a foundation for future conversations. And when a couple has children, the odds are likely they will need to talk to each other for years to come.

People get divorced for many reasons. When a couple — or at least one part of a couple — decides it’s time to split up, productive discussions about details are often difficult or even impossible. Communication may already have been difficult. Animosity, sadness, a sense of loss, a desire for revenge, and possible economic hardship are not conducive to smooth discussion, and often the only place where the couple can talk forthrightly is at a mediation. Over time, they can develop the wherewithal to talk to each other going forward. They have a template.

Consider the difference between a mediation and a litigation setting, where the lawyers do the talking and there can be an incentive for portraying the other side in as negative a light as possible. Once the divorce is over, with its attendant hostilities having been played out at great cost over a considerable time, what does the couple have? How do they communicate afterwards? Do they call their lawyers every time there’s a problem with one of the kids — and have them call the other lawyer to work out what needs to be worked out? No. They’re forced to have what can often be a dreaded conversation with the ex — dreaded partly because the litigation itself only made things more difficult.

One of the things a divorcing couple who has children needs to recognize is that they will be staying connected for a long time. This can be positive in many ways. Being able to communicate directly with an ex not only makes their own and their children’s lives easier, but it demonstrates to the children how people who may not otherwise get along, can work together to resolve issues that arise in every life. It gives the children a template, too.

With the opportunity to practice, people can get it right.

Gary Shaffer Gary Shaffer
Shaffer Mediation

About Us

An honors graduate of Harvard University and the Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University, where he also served on the Law Review, Gary brings more than 30 years of litigation and negotiation experience to his practice as a mediator. He has successfully negotiated and mediated resolutions in family matters, employment cases, commercial disputes, personal injury cases, and major civil rights matters.

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