Mediation is one way that you can get through disputes that come up during your divorce without necessarily having to take your case to court. Mediation is a relaxed form of alternative dispute resolution, and it doesn’t necessarily have to result in conflicts or arguments.
Mediation is great for divorcing couples who are willing to agree to try to negotiate. It can be useful for those with a few minor disputes who want to talk through their issues. It can even work for people who are struggling to communicate but who can agree that they’d rather stay out of court than go into it.
While it is usually preferential to go through mediation because of the time and money it saves, it is the reality that mediation isn’t always the right solution for everyone.
When is mediation the wrong choice for a divorcing couple?
Mediation can work for most people, but it won’t work for those who are committed to litigation. If you or your spouse decided to litigate already and won’t be willing to negotiate in a mediation session, then mediation may not be a good choice for you.
Mediation is not always the right choice for cases that involve domestic violence or narcissism, since narcissistic spouses tend to focus on “winning” rather than being willing to work together.
However, for most people who are thoughtful about how they’re approaching their divorce, mediation is a great option. It opens the door for better conversations and resolutions that both people will find satisfactory, even if they’re not perfect.
Can you start mediation and then stop if it doesn’t work?
The nice thing about divorce mediation is that it is nonbinding. So, yes, you can start mediation and come up with an agreement there that you decide not to accept later. You can also go to a few mediation sessions and then decide that it isn’t working or that it is not right for you.
Since mediation is so flexible, it’s worth considering it to start with. You can always make changes later on if you find that this isn’t going to be a good solution for your situation.