Divorce Mediation: Why Do We Sit at a Round Table?

Mediation can be an extremely productive option for those who are going through a divorce but wish to keep things as amicable and friendly as possible. The job of the mediator is simply to promote and help facilitate settlement, and a good, highly-trained mediator with have the tools in place to do just that.

One such tool is the use of a round table during mediation sessions. To most, this table may not seem like a key part to the negotiation process, but yet it is. At a round table, there are no sides, and there is no top or bottom. One person cannot gain a tactical advantage by sitting at one part of the table over another. A square or rectangle table could have a "head of the table" position that makes the person sitting there appear to be in charge. Having one of the parties in a divorce mediation assume this position would most likely be detrimental to the negotiation process. Therefore, we have a round table where all parties are equal.

While something like the shape of a table may seem simple and insignificant, it really sets the tone for the whole process. It's important that both parties feel at ease, and one side doesn't feel like they're being attacked or need to attack. The mediator's job is to keep everyone calm and to aide in a productive conversation. Once the balance is set, it will be a lot easier to carry out settlement discussions. When both parties are standing on neutral ground they are much more likely to be agreeable and willing to reach a settlement.

Along with the table, a skilled mediator will also put thought into other aspects of the meeting environment that could relax both parties and make them feel at ease. Whenever possible warm and welcoming colors will be used in the room the mediation takes place. Coffee, water, and snacks may be provided and if the mediator feels tension beginning to build, he may suggest the parties take a break and take an opportunity to get a breath of fresh air or take a brief walk.

The bottom line when going through a mediation is to facilitate a resolution, it doesn't have to be rushed, it just needs to be successful, if at all possible. The experienced mediators at Richard Ross Associates completely take this mindset to heart when working with mediation parties. If you are considering mediation and would like to know more about the process, please contact Richard Ross Associates today.

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