Michele F. Lowrance spent 20 years on the bench as a judge in Illinois family court. After her retirement, she became a divorce mediator. Judges and mediators generally see people on their worst days — who wants to be in court or in mediation?
Here’s what she says about divorcing via litigation and mediation:
It appears that the court system rewards blame and accusation. There is a misperception that a trial might validate your position and give you relief and closure. The best closure you can get is the one you craft for yourself, not the one a judge creates from only a snapshot of your life. The mediation process allows you to be the architect of your life and that of your family going forward. You will have learned a new language of compromise and how to navigate adversity with your former spouse. The trickle-down benefit to the children is immense. The children observe their parents skillfully deal with each other, even if they didn’t before. They learn that conflict is part of life and doesn’t mean they are going to lose a parent. In choosing mediation, you will endorse a positive, often benevolent, process rather than fusing your future to a potentially destructive life experience.