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Have you heard these myths about divorce mediation?

Despite what is routinely shown in movies and on TV, divorce does not have to be an all-out battle waged before a judge. Indeed, most divorcing couples first approach the process through alternative dispute resolutions before even considering giving a judge the power to make the final decision. Mediation is a popular approach for reaching a divorce settlement that is agreeable to both parties, but myths concerning process have also grown in popularity.

A common untruth that continues to perpetuate in New York is that couples who have significant assets should avoid the process at all costs. The initial reasoning behind this myth seems to be that couples of high net worth have the disposable income to justify conflict in the court room, but in reality, there is no reason to waste or throw away money simply because a person can. The same methods of negotiating with a mediator present can be worthwhile and beneficial no matter the size of a couple's bank account.

Another myth that sends some people running toward court is the gender of the mediator. Some husbands fall under the false impression that male mediators will naturally side with them, while wives tend to have the opposite feeling. Mediation is not a battle between the sexes, and a professional mediator understands that his or her role is to remain as a neutral third party.

Mediation can have a lot of benefits for New York couples other than just dividing up assets. This type of alternative dispute resolution usually includes facilitating open communication concerning child custody and parenting time. While it can be understandably tempting to labor under the false impression that a judge will have the best answers concerning a divorce agreement, giving the final decision to an individual who will not have to live with the consequences is usually best avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Source:, "5 Myths About Divorce Mediation", Arianna Jeret, Sept. 28, 2015

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