Although more than 876,000 people get divorced each year in the United States, experts estimate only 10 percent of these couples tried counseling or marital mediation before finalizing their divorces. Getting a divorce is a major life-altering decision. Both marriage counseling and marital mediation can help couples as they make decisions. The San Diego divorce mediation experts from Divorce Options San Diego advise that before getting divorced, couples should first consider these benefits of trying counseling or mediation first.
1. Gain Clarity
Just because you try counseling or marital mediation, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t end up getting a divorce. Studies show once a couple is determined to get divorced, counseling or mediation probably won’t help them stay together. Each of these services can provide insight into the marriage and give both individuals clarity so they can make the next step with confidence. Counseling or mediation may assure couples that divorce is the right decision for their families. Those who try mediation or counseling and decide to stay together will gain insight into their marital problems and what each spouse can do to address them.
While marriage counselors help clients understand and change their behaviors and work on improving the health of their relationships, marital mediators work with couples to help them resolve specific disagreements. Marital mediation emphasizes analyzing couples’ communication styles and training them to develop more productive ways to negotiate and resolve conflicts.
2. Help Your Children Cope Better with Divorce
Two of the most important things a divorcing couple can do for their children is to learn how to speak respectfully about each other and communicate well with each other. Both counseling and marital mediation can help you learn communication tactics and role model techniques you can use as you co-parent after divorce. With these tools, divorced couples are much better able to work together. Children with divorced parents who co-parent peacefully fare far better than those who don’t.
3. Save Money
Learning how to work together and communicate may save you money. Couples who use techniques they learn in counseling or mediation may be able to amicably divide assets and work out childcare arrangements, which means fewer hours spent trying to work out all the details in a heated debate.
4. Learn Conflict Management Skills
Whether you decide to stay married or continue with the divorce, conflicts are going to arise. Learning conflict management skills can benefit you and your spouse throughout the rest of your lives. These skills are crucial when going through a divorce, co-parenting children, and being in relationships after the divorce.
Marital mediation also helps couples develop conflict management skills, but it focuses on dispute resolution. When couples have unproductive ways of settling conflicts, their marriages often suffer, which could lead to divorce. Marital mediation uses techniques that identify and resolve these negative conflict behaviors.
5. Save Your Marriage
While not all marriages can—or should—be saved, counseling or mediation may prevent a divorce. Data from a study conducted by the Chicago Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy shows 50 percent of the couples reported improvements in their marriages after participating in counseling. After three months, 70 percent of the couples reported improvements. These improvements seemed to stay in place long after counseling was over. After two years, all couples who noticed improvements in their marriages reported the marriages continued to improve.
Whether you and your spouse need marital mediation services or you decide divorce is the right choice, reach out to the experienced professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. Our expert San Diego divorce mediators provide a one-stop shop, offering marital mediation as well as comprehensive services that cover all aspects of divorce from beginning to end, and we focus on helping couples form mutually satisfactory agreements based on trust and respect. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628.