There are many questions to consider before starting the mediation process. Occasionally I receive a call or a friend will stop me in the grocery store with this… I think I might want a divorce or separation but I am not sure. When divorce ambivalence is prevalent, pushing a couple into the divorce process is not the type of mediator or attorney I want to be.

So then what?

When couples are not sure how to move forward with their family, reaching out to a therapist or coach for discernment counseling can help. Perhaps one spouse is not sure whether they want to stay married, maybe confusion, uncertainty, or lack of clarity are interfering with decision making. Often in mediation, we see a “leaning-out spouse” and a “leaning-in spouse”, with each having different agendas and needing support with their emotional state. Engaging a trained professional to support each spouse separately, can help with clarity, managing emotions, and other relationship dynamics. 

Coach or therapist?

As a mediator, clients that seek support through a coach or therapist tend to do very well throughout the mediation process. Coaches can assist individuals with goals, decision-making, and life transitions during the mediation process. Therapists can help individuals dealing with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions. Using a coach or therapist can help you proceed through the process with less stalling, emotional outbursts, and other behavior that can overshadow decisions that need to be made.

How do I find a good professional?

Even under the most amicable terms, ending a partnership can be a significant emotional stressor. Often individuals are looking to address their issues without being “treated” by a mental health professional but are not sure where to go. A good place to start is to ask your mediator for a referral. Most will have a network of professionals that can assist throughout the process. Having support to focus on your emotional well-being can be beneficial and may even alleviate behaviors that could sabotage the negotiation process.


Contact family law mediator, Dawn Clement at for an online consultation.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.