Moving On from Mediation: What to Do If You Don’t Reach a Settlement
From lower costs to quicker results to improved odds of finding a viable agreement, there’s no shortage of benefits to using mediation when you’re getting a divorce. But even with all these benefits, not all couples resolve their issues in mediation. It’s important to be aware of your other options, so if you and your spouse can’t solve everything through mediation alone, you can quickly move on to another method. The more aware you are of your options, the greater your odds of reaching a settlement that works.
Options after mediation
If you and your spouse can’t resolve all your issues with your current mediator, you could:
- Find another mediator — Sometimes, the problem isn’t mediation, but the mediator. Mediation is a highly personal process, so even the most skilled, experienced mediators may not be good at working with your specific personality or that of your spouse. But another mediator may be, so you don’t need to write off the mediation process right away. Considering how affordable and effective mediation is, it’s worth looking for another mediator before you move on to other options.
- Negotiate one on one — Some people are good at negotiating on their own but don’t work well with professional mediators. If this describes you and your spouse, you may actually be better off mediating the divorce on your own. While you’ll still need to consult with a mediator or attorney to navigate legal issues, you can first come up with a rough agreement together.
- Go to court — If negotiation of any kind doesn’t succeed, you may have to take your divorce to trial. A judge can review your assets, your children’s needs, and the circumstances of the divorce, and determine the fairest way to resolve any disputes you may have.
When you begin mediation, you reserve your right to go to court or use one of these other options. So even if you aren’t sure that mediation will solve all your disputes, it’s still worth trying it.
Debunking the myth of “failed mediation”
When couples don’t reach an agreement through mediation, they often assume it means the mediation process has failed. But even if it didn’t entirely resolve the issue, mediation is likely to have gotten you closer to a solution. Couples that go through mediation first are often able to resolve some of their disputes or at least get an idea of what a reasonable solution would look like. Then when they go to court or pursue some other option, they can reach a final agreement more quickly and with fewer expensive legal processes. As long as it’s saving you money and helping you resolve issues, mediation has not failed.
Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. offers mediation, legal services, and a host of other options for divorcing couples. Call us at 1.631.683.8172 or contact our Long Island office online.