The Role of Mediation and Counseling in Preventing a Divorce

A divorce proceeding is a serious decision, and the consequences of a divorce can be unhappy and traumatic for the entire family, especially where there are children from the marriage too. There are several reliable Jacksonville divorce support groups and counselors that can try to guide you in the right direction depending upon the actual condition of your marital relationship.

In some states, the divorce law itself mandates that both spouses must engage in family counseling sessions or try to resolve their conflict with the intervention of a professional mediator. This stage is considered necessary before the two parties may proceed with the preparation for trial or the discovery process. Usually, the cost of a state-appointed counselor or mediator will have to be borne by the two parties, though the court may make an exception in certain cases.

Among Jacksonville divorce law firms, there are several such lawyers who would themselves first try to resolve the differences between the two spouses, and hope for an out of court settlement. But the role of a mediator or a counselor goes beyond that of a lawyer in the sense that his goal is to preserve the marriage and prevent it from ending up in a divorce.

The sole motive of a mediator or counselor is to reduce the emotional and psychological crisis between the spouses and find rational solutions to their conflicting positions on various issues. The mediator will also make the spouses aware of the serious personal and financial consequences of divorce litigation. The harmful and traumatic impact that the divorce can have on children for no fault of theirs, is the most painful part of a divorce that can be explained to both parties by a mediator.

However, sometimes even the law can make exceptions regarding mandatory mediation or counseling exercise. In cases where one of the spouses has suffered physical and emotional abuse or violence from the other spouse repeatedly, there is a valid possibility that even during the mediation or counseling sessions such abuse could continue to be inflicted further. In such extreme cases, the court may grant an exemption to the spouse from the mandatory mediation process. Or, the mediation in such a case could be conducted individually and not jointly with both spouses.

Mediation and counseling is not a futile exercise and it can result in positive and happy outcomes sometimes. It has the potential of bringing the couple back together, and resolving their differences mutually and with joint determination to make their marriage work. Though miracles cannot be expected in every case, but if the couple is reasonable enough, and if the mediator is trained and experienced in solving such cases, chances are that a mediation process will give the couple an opportunity to re-think and re-consider their decision of divorce.