Mediation can be a great way to overcome challenges with your divorce, but not every couple is going to be able to use it. The reality is that mediation, as well as some other forms of collaborative law, require you and your spouse to get along and work together. If you cannot do that, or if one of you is dead set on winning in court, then mediation may not be of help.
If you want to try mediation, the first thing to do is to sit down and think if about whether or not you and your spouse can get along well enough to discuss your issues. If there are only a few small problems that you’re disputing, then mediation may work well. However, if you have many problems and can’t seem to find any common ground already, mediation may not be the right solution.
When won’t mediation work?
Mediation won’t work for everyone. Some times when mediation is ill-advised include:
- When both parties live far apart or have difficulty connecting to discuss issues over a video platform. Without being able to be present for meetings, mediation is near impossible.
- When one party wants to “win” the divorce and is putting money into litigating. If they do not want to invest in mediation sessions or to work together during sessions, then having them doesn’t make sense.
- When you know you won’t agree on an outcome or that an outcome that isn’t legally binding won’t hold up. In that case, it’s better to look into other options, like arbitration. Arbitration is legally binding.
- If neither you nor your spouse want to work together. If you’re both at odds or you just don’t want to talk to each other, mediation is unlikely to get very far.
Your attorney can talk to you about the benefits of mediation, of which there are many, but if neither of you want to go through mediation or one person is set on making everyone’s life more difficult, then you may find that it isn’t right for you. You may want to talk more to your attorney about your options if you cannot resolve your issues outside court and feel that litigation is the only path forward.