Mediation Case Study
From Litigation to Mediation: Martin and Janet
When Martin and Janet decided to divorce, they first sought the advice of a divorce attorney. Months into the process, when negotiations were completely stalled between the couple, the attorney called in a mediator to see if he could help move the couple forward. Although the call came to the mediator on a Monday, and the court date was scheduled for that Friday, a meeting was scheduled to see what could be done.
“It was a really tall order, but I wanted to give it a try,” said Bill, the mediator in this case. “I met them on a Wednesday evening. It was just Martin and Janet and me. It turned out that there were financial issues, but the real problem was that they had never really faced each other and taken the time to talk.”
The meeting began at seven in the evening, and continued until ten without a resolution.
And then, suddenly, Martin said something to Janet that she had apparently been waiting to hear.
“It was like time stopped,” said Bill. “It was a really big moment, and the process allowed for it to happen. They went from not talking to each other, to Janet reaching out and taking Martin’s hand.”
The next day, they were joined again by the attorney, and by Friday they had their agreement worked out.
“The process is to listen and ask questions,” said Bill, “And let it go where it’s going to go.”
“Being right is irrelevant,” he added. “If the judge decides what you’re going to do, then that’s it, and it’s too late to change things. Mediation gives couples the option to talk things through.”