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When is divorce mediation a bad idea?

Divorce attorneys will often advise clients to mediate their disputes. The process has its advantages when it works, but it won’t always work. There are many cases in which mediation might simply cost you more money before your divorce lands in the courtroom—as it was always going to.

How can you know if this is going to be the case? It’s not always wise to predict the future, but there are several common signs that mediation won’t work for you.

Six signs divorce mediation isnt for you

As Forbes notes, there are both pros and cons to mediation. And for all the benefits it can offer, there are some serious risks. These go beyond the fact you risk losing time and money if things don’t work out. You could also risk tying yourself to a bad outcome. Or years of ongoing disputes.

To avoid these problems, you likely want to skip mediation if:

  • Your marriage was abusive, whether that abuse was directed toward you or your children
  • You suspect your spouse is hiding or lying about certain assets
  • Your spouse has an addiction that may impair his or her judgment

These are the most commonly cited reasons to avoid mediation. In these circumstances, there’s rarely enough trust or a fair enough balance of power to make the negotiations work. However, they’re not the only reasons your mediation might fail.

Mediation is all about finding ways for two parties to compromise. There are times these compromises might not be possible, and some of the reasons may even lie with you:

  • If you can’t stand the idea of letting your spouse get what he or she wants
  • If either party is simply unwilling to compromise
  • If your spouse has always dominated your arguments, leaving you feeling voiceless

If any of these seem to describe your situation, you’re likely headed to court in the long run. Mediation might just be an exercise in futility.

Whats the right choice for you?

Divorce isn’t just the end of a relationship. It’s the next step toward your future. That means it’s important that you ask the right questions and clarify your goals.

Mediation or courtroom hearings? The right path for you is the one that’s going to best help you reach your goals. It can be hard to see the way while you’re stressed and anxious. An experienced divorce attorney can help you think about the bigger picture, all the issues involved and how they may impact your future.

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