When should you avoid mediation?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2021 | mediation | 0 comments

Divorcing couples need not take their marital split to court. Working with a mediator could prove a more effective option, but not for every situation.

Family Education explores scenarios in which mediation may do more harm than good. Those going through a divorce deserve to know where and how to focus their time and energy.

Unknown marriage assets

Spouses deserve to know the full value of their marital assets, such as businesses and retirement and pension plans. Mediators do not have the power to compel spouses to reveal assets to each other. Traditional legal representatives lack this power, too, but they can at least ask that a judge require a stubborn spouse to reveal assets.

Bullying spouse

For mediation to work, all parties must want to compromise. If one spouse bullies the other, the aggressive spouse may try to bully the mediator into submission. Some mediators know how to handle aggressive spouses, but others do not.

Non-communicative spouses

Uncommunicative spouses who still do not communicate during their divorce may want to reconsider mediation. Mediators cannot make spouses talk to each other, and mediation may not be the place for spouses to try talking to each other again. Mediators receive training in conflict resolution, not mental health counseling.

Attorney-client privilege

Spouses who want to keep specific details of their divorce secret may want to think twice about meditation. Mediators cannot invoke attorney-client privilege. Anything said during a mediation session may come out in court.

Mediation has its advantages, but it also has its limits. When divorcing parties understand those limits, they make well-informed decisions.

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