By Jordan Trager
Marriage counseling and divorce mediation use some of the same techniques, such as helping couples learn to communicate, and empowering spouses to express their needs and emotions.
But while marriage counseling teaches communication skills to help a couple rebuild their marriage, a divorce mediator uses these techniques to help a couple communicate so they can negotiate a divorce settlement.
In the divorce mediation process, couples learn to put their anger aside in order to reach a settlement that is in their best interests and those of their children, rather than simply seeking revenge or punishment.
There is a misconception about divorce mediation that a couple must be on good terms in order for it to work. Ironically, those couples with a high degree of bitterness toward one another stand to benefit the most from divorce mediation, since they are especially in need of learning communication skills, and they could stand to lose a great deal from protracted litigation.
Thus, while a couple will learn important communication skills in divorce mediation, the ultimate objective will be to reach a peaceful divorce and not to save the marriage, which only marriage counseling can achieve.