Mediation Is Not Always the Best Approach
When you and your spouse recognize that divorce is inevitable, you will probably start looking for ways to simplify the process and alleviate the associated stress. Many couples are able to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement agreement through mediation, as well as through other types of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation, when appropriate, can allow a couple to resolve their differences while, for the most part, avoiding the contentiousness of courtroom litigation. The value of mediation cannot be overstated, but it is important to realize that, sometimes, this approach may not be the best for your particular situation.
Divorce mediation requires both parties to meet with a third-party facilitator for constructive negotiation sessions. The process requires each spouse to remain fully invested in working toward an agreeable outcome. In many divorce cases, though, the relationship between the spouses has deteriorated to the point where cooperation is simply not possible. Anger, resentment, and other emotions may prevent productive communication, which is a basic element any mediated proceeding.
Dishonesty and Deceit
At this point in your relationship, can you trust your spouse to be completely forthcoming about finances, intentions, and goals for the divorce process? In mediation, full disclosure regarding every aspect of the divorce is crucial to reaching a workable agreement. Hidden assets or ulterior motives related to your children can severely impact your final settlement. If you have serious concerns about your spouse’s ability to be honest, litigation may be needed instead of mediation.
You Always Cave
It is an unfortunate reality that in some marriages, one spouse often manipulates or cajoles the other into doing whatever he or she wants. Such behavior is often considered to be emotional abuse, as it effectively eliminates the subservient spouse’s ability to think and make decisions for him- or herself. If you recognize that your spouse tries to manipulate a situation so that he or she always gets his or her way, your spouse is not likely to be any different in mediation. You may enter the process with the best intentions, only to realize later that your spouse completely dictated the terms of the resulting settlement. When emotional abuse or other controlling techniques are an issue, your case may be better suited for the courtroom than the mediation table.
Mediation and Litigation Professionals
If you are considering a divorce and are wondering about the appropriateness of mediation, contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney. Our knowledgeable team is equipped to help you through the process of mediation or, when necessary, litigation. Call 630-232-9700 to schedule your initial consultation at the Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.