Collaborative Divorce Practice and Mediation share the goal of helping people to identify common ground and to reach agreements. Families transitioning through separation often work with professionals in these processes, which we refer to as types of alternate dispute resolution. Would it be more helpful for professionals to describe themselves as facilitating agreements, and not emphasising the idea of dispute in the description of their role?
“Dispute” is a negative word. Separation is not an easy process, and it is characterised by negativity. Let’s remove “dispute”and replace it with “agreement”. If the service that is being offered by professionals is framed positively, that might allow separating people to see reaching agreements after separation as a positive process, even if it is happening in a challenging climate.
by Marguerite Picard, Family Divorce Lawyer, Melbourne VIC