When Your Divorce Case Isn’t Appropriate for Mediation

 It’s not uncommon to be concerned about the negative aspects of getting divorced in court, which is why some people start investigating alternatives for dissolving their marriage. One such approach is mediation, where divorcing couples meet with a mediator to discuss issues and come to resolution. This solution can be much less expensive and take less time, but it’s not always the most appropriate avenue for your divorce.

The American Bar Association publishes guidelines for mediators in the field of divorce, stipulating that mediators should increase self-determination among participants to help improve communication, promote the best interests of the children (the same standards judges use to determine child custody), and to decrease both the emotional and economic costs of dispute resolution.  In less contentious divorces, this course may fit the bill well by allowing two spouses to discuss the primary issues in their divorce (such as property division and child custody) without having to go through litigation.

In other situations, however, mediation might not be the best choice. For example, in situations where domestic violence is an issue, mediation might not promote the best interests of the children or reduce the emotional costs associated with dispute resolution. In divorces where the two spouses are at a communication stalemate, talking through their problems with a mediator might not resolve anything- in fact, it could make things worse.

For those couples who wish to limit their communication, mediation is likely to bring out the worst in both people, making it difficult for a mediator to lead them to resolution and agreements. In these scenarios, it’s recommended that you speak to an attorney who is comfortable handling your divorce litigation. While mediation can be a helpful form of dispute resolution, it’s not for everyone. If you think your case is better suited to an experienced family law attorney, contact a DuPage County divorce lawyer today.


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