Ever wonder how the boy band NYSYNC got their name? Justin Timberlake’s mother is credited with commenting on how “in sync” the group’s singing voices were. The band enjoyed wild success from their debut in 1995 until 2002, when a temporary hiatus led to what by all accounts was an uneventful permanent breakup. Band member JC Chasez said of the breakup, “For us, it happened organically. After you do something for a certain amount of time, you get into a rhythm of it. Then, new things spark your curiosity. At that time, we just felt like we had exhausted every kind of idea for what we were doing (together) and we just felt like okay, let’s do something different. So, that’s what we did.” Maybe it’s not a coincidence their top selling album of the 2000s was called No Strings Attached.
Out of Sync
In divorce we hope for a similar organic dynamic where the couple decides together to end the marriage. However, accepting that a relationship is “out of sync” and irreparable can be very difficult, and it has been my experience as a mediator that spouses often do not arrive at the decision to divorce at the same time.
In my opinion there are three main reasons one party is not ready to proceed with divorce:
- They feel helpless since the decision was made for them, which makes them want to take control of the situation. They often try to stop, slow down or derail the process until they feel they have gained control.
- They are in denial about the problems in the marriage and are holding onto hope that the marriage can be saved.
- They are scared of facing the financial and sometimes parental responsibility alone.
“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” – author Deborah Reber
I have mediated many cases where one party emphasizes how they will do anything to finalize an agreement that day while the other party is stuck talking about marriage counseling or other ways to try to save the marriage. In this scenario, it is especially important to listen to the unwilling spouse to identify why they are hesitant to move forward with the divorce. Often times, by allowing them to vent, they share important information that is crucial to understanding their reluctance and reaching an agreement.
Mediation is a good opportunity for the unwilling spouse to obtain information in a non-threatening, non-adversarial setting. It gives the spouse who is not ready to proceed the time to process and understand that the divorce will take place so long as one spouse has requested it. Additionally, it gives the hesitant spouse some control over the process by allowing them to address their needs and concerns for the future. While many of these mediations start off being particularly challenging to maneuver, very often they end up with a settlement.
When you need help through the mediation process, you can count on my 18 years of litigation experience and seven years of exclusive family mediation to find out-of-the-box solutions to settle disputes amicably and expeditiously.
2022 JUDGE ASSIGNMENTS (ROTATIONS)
By Administrative Orders, the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County and the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County have assigned judges to their divisions effective January 10, 2022 and January 18, 2022 respectively.
THINK YOU’VE HEARD IT ALL?
Did you hear about Wendy Wein, the woman who was recently sentenced to up to 20 years in jail for soliciting the murder of her husband on RentAHitman.com? She and around 40 other “serious customers” filled out a form on the website with details of their requests. Not only did they fall for the “promises of confidentiality” under the fake “Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964,” but they sent a $5,000 payment for the service!
Turns out the owner of RentAHitman.com started the site as part of a security risk assessment project he was developing, and he never intended it to be a murder-for-hire service. After shockingly receiving what appeared to be real requests for hits, Bob Innes, the owner, started turning over would-be clients to law enforcement.
Too bad for Mrs. Wein that she didn’t consider mediation instead.