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When Divorce Mediation Is Not Right for You

When Divorce Mediation Is Not Right for You

Posted By Meyers Law Group, P.C. || 15-Jan-2014

It may be surprising to learn that many, many divorces are candidates for mediation. In fact, even when spouses are sparring, or even when there has been infidelity, it is still possible to pull off a mediated divorce, and to take away the benefits of saving time, stress, and money. While the time saved is one reason that money is saved, the process can also be extremely low-cost because having an accountant or financial advisor is optional, and the fees for a consulting attorney are less than for a trial lawyer.

This process also gives you and your spouse the power to create the terms of your future after a divorce. A mediator has no authority to enforce their suggestions, and you would be free to come up with your own divorce agreement, instead of placing these major decisions into the hands of a judge, a stranger. So instead of examining whether or not they are a fit for divorce mediation, which is true for a majority of couples, a couple needs to double check if mediation is wrong for them.

For example, mediation may not work if one spouse is more assertive than the other. That spouse could then walk away with a divorce agreement that is balanced heavily in their favor. In relationships where there has been physical or emotional abuse, this problem can be compounded. The fix for these problems is to hire a consulting attorney. When both sides have legal advocates counseling them about their rights, the playing field can be leveled.

What a divorce lawyer cannot fix, however, is the problem of a spouse who lacks all empathy, who either is indifferent to or who is ignorant of what the other spouse values and needs. Also, if one spouse has the flair for the dramatic or is prone to emotional outbursts, it is important to consider whether this could impede any progress in the mediation process before you pursue that route. In cases where you think your spouse is hiding assets or trying to get rid of some, then mediation is not the way to go. You need an attorney to help you protect those assets and to get full financial disclosure from your spouse. And in mediation, you cannot get the court-ordered formal discovery or depositions you need to get to the bottom of this issue.

In more dire situations, where you think that the other parent might try to take your child away, even out of state, then you need to talk to a lawyer right away to see if you should get restraining orders. Then you will have to take it from there to see if the situation changes to allow you to pursue mediation. If, however, you think your spouse might just be using mediation as a way to get what they want, not to find a fair resolution, then think twice about mediation. For example, in some cases, one spouse will urge the other to agree on a certain temporary custody order for the sake of a harmonious start to the process, only to quit mediation and to refuse to agree on any other issue. This could leave you with an unfair parenting plan and custody arrangement.

If you have any questions about whether or not divorce mediation is for you, then contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. With an experienced Long Island divorce attorney on your side, you may be able to achieve this swift and peaceful process for your divorce, or perhaps you can achieve a simple uncontested divorce. Learn more about your legal options when you contact our firm today.