Posted on May 30, 2013 · Posted in Blog

counsellor or divorce mediatorIs it time to pull the plug or get help?

As a Kelowna divorce mediator, I often hear the couple question their judgment regarding the very difficult decision to move forward with divorce. I have been asked by some of my clients, “Do you think we are a cute, great-looking couple?” This is a hard question for a divorce mediator and I will not answer it directly. You see, a divorce mediator is not a marriage counselor, and we are not in a position to determine whether and when to call it quits. However, it does raise questions: Can a relationship really be saved? And is it actually worth saving? And lastly, do we need a divorce mediator?

As a divorce mediator and someone who works with individuals at their lowest ebb in life, I believe we professionals should be the last resort for a couple. Anything worth having is worth fighting for, and a relationship is no different. When couples choose each other as partners, they begin what I call “road building.” The “road” is their life together and like all roads, it needs continuous attention and maintenance. And if ignored, it deteriorates. The timing of when you seek marital maintenance and/or repair may correspond directly with whether you need a marriage counselor or a divorce mediator.

Marriage counselors fix relationships and divorce mediators take them apart.

As a divorce mediator by occupation and a father and grandfather outside the office, I don’t like looking at it that way. Rather than ripping apart relationships, my role as a divorce mediator is to help reduce the stress and to establish a safe environment which facilitates a peaceful divorce scenario. I help the couple focus on a win-win outcome, not on the emotion. I remain neutral as I work with both individuals to identify problems and find creative solutions without moving into litigation.

On the other hand, marriage counselors have a totally different focus and calling in life. They are there to help save the relationship and to improve it. I believe that they should be the first line professionals that couples in turmoil turn to first.

It may sound like it, but marriage counselors and divorce mediators are not at opposite ends of the scale. Whether it’s before, during or after the divorce, the couple often needs both professionals to get through the process and on to healing. Like their life’s road described earlier, I mentioned that a marriage needs continuous attention and maintenance.

However, sometimes you need to shut down the road, put up a detour sign and take the bus. I have often heard couples seeking my service say that they just grew apart and/or they have both changed. Those changes cause stress in the relationship and they can be the death of a relationship. So, to make a short answer long, only you can determine whether your relationship is worth saving.


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divorce mediation kelownaAbout Kelowna Divorce Mediation Services

We are not expensive lawyers; we are family divorce mediators.  Our boutique divorce mediation firm has become Kelowna’s first choice when dealing with separation and divorce, and beyond. It is possible to reduce stress, time and conflict. Our mediation model educates and empower our clients, so that when you leave you have a document that will stand the test of time.