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  • Writer's pictureAlan Jacobs

4 Important Things to Do Before You Say ‘I Don’t’

I find there is an interesting dynamic to being a divorce mediator. While, as a businessman, I want new clients, I am always sorry a couple has found themselves in my office as it usually represents the end of a dream they shared together.

In this blog posting, Vicki Shemin offers, even if you have been long feeling that your marriage is a hopeless and lost cause, several worthwhile options to explore before divorcing.


“Mediation to Stay Married” is a fantastic, albeit underused, option for those at the crossroads of remaining married/getting divorced. The process involves engaging the services of a skilled neutral to identify each spouse’s goals and to drill down and explore “what it would take” for you and your spouse to recommit to the relationship.


While many are familiar with the term Prenuptial Agreement (a contract entered into prior to a marriage that sets forth specific terms that will govern the relationship in the event of divorce and/or death), the less commonly known Postnuptial Agreement contract is another mechanism for attempting to resolve some of the conflicts that have led to the breakdown of the marriage.


Just like no one could really have prepared you for the realities of marriage or having your first child, so nothing can really give you a preview as to what is in store should you and your spouse move forward with divorce. Couples who opt for a trial separation learn a great deal about themselves and each other and are given the opportunity to examine in more realistic detail whether this is what they truly want as a next step in their futures.


“Exit Counseling” can best be described as couples counseling devoted to preparing to end the marriage. It is a respectful process that gives couples time and space to work through the myriad of details attendant to moving from the status of marriage to the state of separation; it provides a safe place to say good-bye to—and start to grieve the loss of—the relationship; and it provides a template for how couples can begin to interact in the coming weeks and months ahead.

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