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Is Mediation Always a Good Idea?

On behalf of Gregory W. Stevens, Attorney at Law on Monday, July 16, 2018.

We have discussed the numerous benefits of mediation in recent posts. However, you and other Utah residents who are considering divorce may wonder if mediation is a one-size-fits-all solution. Are there some factors in your divorce that may make mediation more difficult? Is litigation sometimes the better option? Can you overcome difficulties during the mediation process and still make it work?

As you know, mediation’s benefits, such as privacy, cost-effectiveness and reduced conflict, can be inviting. However, some factors are likely to complicate the process. These may include the following:

  • Your spouse abused alcohol or drugs while you were married, and you worry that addiction may still be a problem.
  • Domestic violence or emotional abuse was present during your marriage.
  • Your spouse has significantly more funds and separate assets than you, which he or she is using as a financial advantage over you.
  • You and your spouse are unable to communicate without arguing, and negotiating or being open-minded to mutually agreeable solutions is nearly impossible.
  • Your spouse is deliberately being difficult and combative during mediation sessions.

If you are struggling with any of the above issues, the outcome may be more to your favor if a judge steps in. However, this is not always guaranteed. It may help to have competent representation, but you might also be able to encourage your spouse that mediation is a better solution by pointing out its financial benefits.

Like fingerprints, every marriage is different, and each divorce will have its challenges and pitfalls. Mediation and other forms of uncontested divorce, such as collaborative law, have helped many couples navigate their disputes, but they are not for everyone. You stand the best chance of having things go in your favor by understanding the options available to you, making informed decisions and refusing to let your soon-to-be-ex intimidate you into solutions you are not comfortable with.