Posted on March 27, 2013 · Posted in Blog

divorcelawers-are-from-marsBy Wes Stevenson, Divorce Mediator

As a mediator in Kelowna, BC, I know that there are always two sides to the story – sometimes even three or four. You and your spouse arrive at the crossroads of divorce with very different interpretations of your lives together. To save your marriage, counsellors often try to get you to agree upon that history. But as your marriage ends, the finger pointing begins and that’s just the way it goes! I have seen it over and over.

Peaceful Divorce Mediation is Better Than Litigation!a kelowna divorce lawyer

In my opinion, divorce lawyers are from Mars and divorce mediators are from Venus because we look at the couples’ history very differently. By nature and training, divorce lawyers are adversarial and they often dwell, with you, on the past, whereas divorce mediators are looking to the future and how to achieve a win-win solution for both of you as you move forward. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but the law really doesn’t care who the bad guy was. The fact is, the marriage is over.

A divorce lawyer’s job is to protect you and to get you the best deal possible. In his or her position, you are the victim, the innocent party, and your spouse is the villain or the guilty party. This scenario leads the traditional, adversarial system to view divorce as an opportunity to right all wrongs – whether those wrongs are real or imagined. It may temporarily feel good to play the victim, but this leads to unrealistic expectations and often an equal amount of disappointment in the end. This approach to divorce can take years in court, not to mention the cost and the wear and tear on both of you.

Divorce law in Canada can be very harsh and seemingly cold and uncaring because, as I already said, it doesn’t matter who the bad guy was. In Canada there is only one reason you need to divorce – marital break down! The fact is, in most cases, fault or bad behavior does not mean that one person gets more or less of a particular asset. If one of you had an affair or were responsible for the marital melt-down, it doesn’t mean you lose the house or pay more spousal support. I’ve seen it quite often where a person going through divorce says, “It’s his/her fault and not my decision. I never wanted this divorce!”

Your feelings are important and may be justified and appropriate but the reality is, it’s time to move on and both parties need to compromise as they reach agreement on the issues. This is about ending your relationship, and moving on independently. The only question remaining is: How? 

As a divorce mediator, I do not believe that there is any future in the past, and there is no point in stirring the pot. There is only your hurt, disappointment, and interpretation of what once was. No one can change what happened yesterday. I often remind clients that throwing mud at this point just leaves everyone dirty. It may feel good at the moment but it will do nothing to solve your problems and to help reach agreement – which is what a divorce mediator’s goal is.

Natural justice, supported by your own emotion, point to your so-and-so spouse paying for what you believe he or she has done. However in your own, long-term best interest, your divorce process is not the place for revenge, so let it go. It will cost you far less monetarily and emotionally if you can. If at all possible, take the high road and use a peaceful divorce mediation process.


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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. It is possible to reduce stress, time and conflict. Our mediation model educates and empowers our clients, so that when you leave you have a document that will to stand the test of time.

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