Why Divorce Mediation is Not for Everyone
At Barbara Flum Stein & Associates, we have written repeatedly about the benefits of reaching an agreement with your spouse on critical issues such as child custody, child support, the division of marital property, and alimony. Generally, couples can speed up their divorce action and retain control of how they exit the marriage.
However, we always emphasize that not every couple can reach an agreement—even after mediation. In fact, mediation might be counterproductive for many couples, and in this article our Media divorce lawyer explains why.
You Are Scared of Your Spouse
Mediation typically involves being in the same room as your spouse and listening as they explain what they want in the divorce. For some couples, this is an emotionally-charged experience. Husbands and wives might give vent to frustrations, disappointments, and seething rage.
For other people, being in the same room can endanger them emotionally or physically. This is often the case when there has been a history of domestic violence. Mediation is counterproductive if you fear your spouse.
Even more, you might have an order of protection against your spouse that prevents him or her from coming near you. Mediation would constitute a violation of the order, and the spouse subject to the order could be picked up by the police.
If you have suffered abuse or terrorism in your marriage, we want to hear about it. Although we value mediation as a tool, it is not for everyone.
Your Spouse is Unreasonable
Mediation requires each spouse coming to the negotiating table in good faith. Mediating a divorce settlement often requires compromise—neither side gets everything they request. Instead, each side gives up a little to get something in return. The inability to make these compromises often contributed to the decision to divorce, so this can be a difficult process.
What happens if your spouse digs in and refuses to budge on anything? We have seen this happen more than once. In that situation, mediation is a waste of time. Unfortunately, some men and women use divorce to “get back” at a spouse, and mediation will not make headway with this type of spouse.
Often, we must participate in at least one mediation session before we realize that the other side is being unreasonable. But we can recommend against further participation in that case.
Your Spouse Pushes Your Buttons
Some spouses are agreeable in a superficial manner, but they have a hidden agenda: to make you as uncomfortable as possible by pushing your buttons. These spouses will often use the mediation room as a space to throw wild accusations at their spouse, bring up embarrassing incidents, or even engage in name-calling. This is not a productive use of anyone’s time or money.
Contact a Delaware County Divorce Lawyer Today
Our law firm is skilled in mediation, but we are also prepared to head to court, if necessary, to protect our clients. If you would like to discuss divorce with an experienced attorney, call us at Barbara Flum Stein & Associates to schedule an initial consultation.