I have recently been reflecting on a common occurrence in divorce mediation. Most of the time one spouse or partner is driving the decision to separate. The other spouse/partner is resistant to varying degrees. S/he may feel resigned or unhappy but wants to hang on for the children. S/he may be accepting of the decision but would not have initiated it, or is actively resistant and desperate to prevent the separation process from moving forward. For those who are desperate, a strategy for avoidance may be refusing to participate in mediation in the mistaken belief that not participating will prevent the separation. Instead, of course, that strategy results in the couple moving towards an adversarial litigation process. In North Carolina, divorce does not need the consent of both parties to become final. So the only real choice the unwilling spouse/partner has is the choice of which forum the decisions will be made-in the (to varying degrees) cooperative, collaborative approach of mediation or within the legal arena. Recognizing my own obvious bias, that choice seems simple, in most situations.
So, it may be helpful to educate yourself about the mediation process and how it may help you move through such a scary and difficult time.
This article by Gregg Greenstein addresses a common challenge encountered in mediation. Many people are exploring the possibility of selling the family home, for a variety of reasons-financial, emotional, geographic relocation, to name a few. Mr. Greenstein discusses the challenges of selling real estate when the parties are not in complete alignment on this decision. It highlights why a couple will want to talk through all of the ins and outs of selling before listing the property.