“The Accidental Marriage – Re-Framing Divorce”, Episode #119

Despite our best intentions and efforts, marriage doesn’t always work out exactly the way we planned; sometimes it doesn’t work out at all! Both marriage and its dissolution can be filled with rancor and conflict, or they can be opportunities for collaboration and growth; sometimes all the above.

Whether it’s a marriage in progress or one that is ending, people can make a conscious choice about how they want to approach conflict and its resolution. Mediation can be an integral ingredient in a constructive outcome that builds or restructures a relationship, rather than destroying it.

Welcome to “The Accidental Marriage – Re-Framing Divorce”, Episode #119.

I’m speaking with Debra Oliver, a mediator with over 30 years of experience, exploring the concept of an ‘accidental marriage’ – the complexities of attraction that can lead to subconscious and assumed agreements which may cause issues later in the relationship. We’ll also discuss important details negotiated in a divorce mediation that divorcing parents often overlook, such as parenting styles, long-term finances, and the legal rights of each parent.

Highlights of our conversation include:

  • How unspoken expectations and implied agreements can lead to conflict in relationships
  • How positive divorce experiences is possible
  • The importance of trained divorce mediators
  • How collaborative divorce & co-parenting can benefit children
  • Ethics & limitations of divorce mediators

Debra Oliver, founder of Common Ground Mediation Services, has been a mediator and trainer since 1989. She has served over ten thousand clients and trainees in the US, Nepal and Russia. She serves a variety of businesses, non-profits, and state agencies, as well as specializing in Restorative Justice, Family Dynamics, and Divorce. Debra has worked with law enforcement agencies and municipalities, providing training and community dialogue services. Debra was also a founding partner , along with myself and 3 others, in Community Dialogue Network, LLC, an organization that provided community-wide dialogues on public perspectives, especially in response to community crises.