Sometimes couples who come to mediation are unsure if they really want to get divorced. They may not even know they are unsure.
Like Gary Shaffer writes, I have worked with couples who, more than anything, needed to just get on the same page about finances and child rearing. One question for a couple and a mediator to keep in mind is whether working out the details of a separation agreement can open the door to a “non-separation agreement,” i.e., a postnup, where each spouse agrees to certain things going forward.
Mediation often tackles matters that were previously not resolved, or never discussed at all. The discussion, and just as importantly, creating written draft agreements the couple will review and modify, can occasionally change what people are willing to do now, before a divorce. Perhaps the “Separation Agreement” can be used for another purpose, to create a “Staying Together Agreement.” Here’s what we each agree to going forward. It may or may not work, and nothing prevents the couple from subsequently getting divorced.