One of the parties had experienced a change of heart. There had been an epiphany; a religious experience if you like. The divorce was off! Who does not like a happy ending! So far as I know the couple are still together.
Sometimes reconciliation happens after a mediation goes awry, with neither party able to connect the dots to get to their post-divorce promised land. In such cases, the couple may retreat to the parking lot, have an intense conversation with each other, and then let-go their lawyers. Sometimes staying together looks to be the better option.
In the really finely balanced case, reconciliation happens during the mediation itself, when I sense the need to pop the question, “is this marriage irretrievably broken? No hope of reconciliation? Usually, one spouse waits for the other to respond. If that spouse says “it is over,” then the hesitant party will usually follow suit, and everyone moves on to divorce in a businesslike manner. Popping the question can be a tension reliever.
Every once in a while, someone hesitates and then tears-up. Someone else does likewise. The outcome of the mediation is to dismiss the divorce case. That is a good day at work for me, for who does not like that warm fuzzy feeling of a teary happy ending?
I’m a divorce mediator, why do I talk reconciliation? Truth be told, I just mediate (period). I help people have those difficult conversations they have not been able to have. I don’t come in assuming that the obvious legal settlement is what everyone wants. It usually is, but I keep my ears open.
Reconciliations are rare in my family law work, but settlement is not. I see the work of the mediator as helping people get to where they want to go, or at least where they can jointly agree to go. I don’t shoehorn people into an answer that I think they need.
In mediation, it only takes one mediator to change a couple of lightbulbs, but the lightbulbs have to want the change!