Five Factors to Weigh When Deciding to Try Divorce Mediation
Divorce can be costly, time-consuming and stressful. Fortunately, there are alternatives to adversarial litigation that can reduce your expenses and speed up the process. At Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc., our professional family law mediators provide focused mediation services that deliver consistently excellent results. However, even the best mediators are going to have a tough time if the parties are not good candidates for the process. Here are five questions to ask if you are considering mediation to dissolve your marriage:
- Is there a history of violence in your marriage? — If you have been the target of domestic abuse, your odds of success in mediation are diminished. Abusive relationships generally depend on an unhealthy dynamic, where one person is dominant and the other submissive. Fear operates to maintain that status quo. Conversely, the success of a mediation depends on the parties being able to freely express themselves as equals, without either being intimidated. It’s very difficult for a couple locked into an abusive dynamic to suddenly negotiate on equal terms.
- Can you still talk rationally to your spouse? — Even if there hasn’t been violence in the relationship, events in the marriage may have destroyed trust between the spouses. If you feel betrayed or you are still consumed with anger you haven’t processed and released, you may not be able to maintain your composure while arguing your side in mediation.
- Can you trust your spouse to be reasonable? — It takes two to tango and to mediate. You may have resolved all your emotional issues around your marriage, but your spouse may still be fixated on the past.
- Do you think your spouse is hiding assets? — Mediation does not give parties the same rights to discovery as litigation does. You have to trust that what your spouse chooses to disclose about finances is truthful and complete. If the numbers don’t add up, you may have to litigate your divorce so that you have subpoena power to compel full disclosure.
- Can you commit to the process? — Depending on the complexity of your circumstances, you may have to attend four, six, or more mediation sessions, each lasting about three hours. During that time, it’s you, your soon-to-be ex, and a neutral third party in the conference room. Are you up to acting as your sole advocate throughout the process, or would you prefer to have professional legal counsel running the show?
At Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc., we recommend that you reflect on these questions before deciding on mediation. However, even if you feel “iffy” about the process, it may still be in your interest to try. Often, mediation can resolve one or two ancillary issues so that you only have to litigate one or two more. In such cases, the mediation has been a qualified success and has saved you some time, money and stress.