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Lakeland Family & Divorce Attorney / Blog / Divorce / Situations When Divorce Mediation May Not Work

Situations When Divorce Mediation May Not Work


Divorce mediation has become a popular option among many divorcing couples. Mediation entails working with a neutral third party, called a mediator, whose work is to facilitate communication between the divorcing spouses and help them reach a mutually agreeable and beneficial agreement. More and more people are opting for divorce mediation, as this option allows couples to divorce amicably and avoid the stress and expense of litigation. However, while mediation can be an effective solution for many divorcing couples, there are situations when this option may not work. Below, we discuss some of the situations when divorce mediation may not work;

  1. High-Conflict Divorce Cases

One key instance where mediation may not work is in a case where the level of conflict is extremely high. For mediation to work, couples must be able to set their differences aside long enough to be able to negotiate and reach an agreement. In a high-conflict divorce case where emotions and resentment run high, it can be challenging for a couple to put their differences aside and cooperate.

  1. Cases Involving Domestic Abuse

In cases involving domestic violence or abuse, mediation may not be the right option. First, mediation may not be appropriate due to safety concerns. Engaging in mediation may put the victim in more danger. Second, in an abusive relationship, there is the issue of power imbalance. The abusive partner may use intimidation, threats, physical violence, or other tactics to maintain power and control over the victim. The spouse with less power may feel intimidated or scared to express their needs, concerns, or opinions. Power imbalance may result in communication difficulties, with the spouse with less power hesitating to speak up. The party with less power may avoid asserting themselves or disagreeing with the other party for fear of retaliation.

  1. One or Both Parties Are Unwilling to Compromise

For mediation to succeed, both parties must be willing to compromise and negotiate. Spouses must be willing to find common ground. If one or both parties are unwilling to compromise on crucial divorce-related issues, the mediation process is unlikely to work.

  1. There Are Psychological Issues Involved

If one or both spouses are dealing with psychological issues, such as mental health issues, the mediation process might face challenges. Certain factors related to mental health can make the mediation process more complicated. For example, mental health issues can affect a person’s decision-making capacity. If a person has a mental health issue, it can be hard for them to make sound decisions. Mental health issues may also contribute to communication difficulties.

  1. There Are Issues of Significant Substance Abuse

Substance abuse issues can significantly impact the divorce mediation process. Substance abuse issues can result in impaired decision-making capacity, impaired cooperation, and erratic behavior, thus making the process less effective. Before pursuing mediation, it may be necessary to address substance abuse issues.

  1. There Are Complex Financial Matters

Finally, a standard mediation may not work if complex financial matters are involved. In such a case, involving a financial expert in the process may be necessary. Involving a financial expert and allowing your attorney to be more actively involved in the divorce mediation process may be necessary to navigate the complexities of such cases.

Contact a Lakeland Divorce Attorney

If you are unsure what option is best for you, contact our qualified Lakeland divorce attorney at Darla K. Snead, P.L. We can thoroughly assess your situation and recommend the right option.

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