Yes, you can. You don’t have to be getting along in order to choose mediation for your separation. In fact, it’s very common that parents who come into mediation are not getting along and are not able to have productive conversations on their own.
Although you don’t need to be getting along, what a mediator will ask of you is that you are open to coming to the table and having a discussion. It is the mediator’s role to manage that discussion and all of the emotions that come with it even though you seem to be at an impasse. Often, couples get stuck on repetitive conversations that rehash past hurts. The mediator will help you move forward from the fighting and begin to focus on the “what next.” The mediator will help you to move away from the destructive and hurtful conversations you may have been having into conversations that focus on the future and what is best for your kids. With the help of the mediator communication often opens up leading to a better understanding of what each other is trying to say.
Even after mediation, you don’t have to be friends. But for the sake of your kids, you need to figure out how to get along.
Ultimately, mediation is helping you to lay the foundation of how you will communicate and best support your kids as you move forward as co-parents. When you’re a parent you’re in it for the long-haul. So why not make the journey as enjoyable as possible.
Author - Lori Frank