This morning I was headed to a doctor appointment. I generally knew where it was, but it had been quite some time since I had been to this doctor so I opened Google Maps (yes I know many of you love Waze), plugged in the address, set my phone down and went merrily on my way. Suddenly over the car speaker it says to exit in 2 miles. Well I know that my doctor’s office isn’t there so I open my trusty Google Maps and look at the directions and think, “I would have never thought to go this way.” I followed the directions and made it safely and quickly to my doctor appointment, and even on time.
Now you might be wondering, what this post has to do with mediation as this is a mediation blog. You might even wonder how it could relate more specifically to a family law mediation. Here it goes.
We tend to get used to doing things the same way. Drive the same way to destinations. Eat at the same restaurants. Hang out with the same friends, etc. What if, we do things different, like this morning following Google Maps suggestion to get to my doctor instead of going the way I was familiar with.
Many times, in family law cases especially, we get stuck on “this is what the code says so this is what we should do.” How is it possible for the legislature and the Judges to possibly know what is best for every situation? If we remove ourselves from the box and open our eyes to other possibilities we can see that perhaps going the same way as everyone else isn’t what will work for us. Mediation allows us to explore those other avenues. Sometimes it is the mediator who is able to see things differently than the parties can. Sometimes through the process the parties realize they can do something different. That’s why mediation works. It does not say you have to do things a certain way but rather you can open your mind to trying something else.