What if Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Work for Us?
Mediation can be a time-saving, cost-effective and less stressful divorce process—when both spouses are committed to making it work. Unfortunately, not every couple benefits from cooperative divorce negotiations. Sometimes, it’s impossible to reach an agreement on the thorny issues, even if you do want to make it work.
When divorce mediation fails, you can still obtain a divorce. Read on to learn more about why mediation may not work out, and what happens next.
Situations where mediation may not work
There are several common situations in which mediation probably will not work out:
- Domestic abuse: Because mediation is a cooperative process, both spouses have to feel comfortable speaking up for themselves. In situations where one spouse has abused the other (emotionally, mentally, verbally, physically, sexually and/or financially), the abused spouse may be too afraid to advocate for themselves.
- Financial deceit: The success of divorce mediation also depends on the parties’ honesty. If you’re afraid that your spouse is hiding assets or is not honest about their income, you may need to seek another method instead.
- Controlling or stubborn spouses: Sometimes there’s no abuse involved—one spouse is simply controlling or unwilling to compromise. If your spouse assumes you’ll be the one to make all the sacrifices, mediation is unlikely to work out.
What happens when mediation fails?
Fortunately, you still have options to get a divorce. When divorce mediation fails, the spouses are free to retain attorneys and litigate the divorce. This is beneficial for several reasons. First, an abused spouse will not have to communicate with their abuser. Second, the litigation process can force financial disclosure—and if a spouse hides assets or otherwise lies, there are legal penalties involved. Finally, when stubborn spouses refuse to come to an agreement, a judge will simply make the decision for them.
If you’re interested in divorce mediation, the trusted Long Island divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation can help. Call us today to learn more.