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Knowing When Mediation is Not the Right Choice for your Divorce

Mediation is a great alternative to a courtroom litigated divorce, but it is not the right choice for every couple. The very things that make mediation a good fit for some families, like the lack of court intervention and the ability to work cooperatively toward a resolution, can make it a poor fit for others.

Below are a few circumstances that make meditation a poor choice for certain couples.  In assessing your situation, be honest with yourself and ask your divorce lawyer for guidance to help you determine whether one or more of the following issues makes mediation a bad choice for your divorce.

You Cannot Trust your Spouse

You cannot work cooperatively with your spouse if you cannot trust him or her.  If you suspect your spouse could be hiding assets, lying about his or her current situation, or otherwise trying to deceive you in an effort to drive the divorce in his or her favor, you should not divorce through mediation. 

You are Afraid of your Spouse

If there is a history of domestic violence in your marriage, mediation is likely going to be difficult.  Mediation only works when the partners are on a level playing field; therefore, if you are afraid that your spouse will cause you harm or retaliate against you in any way – or even that he or she will manipulate and emotionally abuse you through the mediation process – you will benefit from the more structured divorce litigation decided by a Court.

You Cannot Work Cooperatively with your Spouse

The two prior points really boil down to one thing: if you cannot work cooperatively with your spouse, you cannot successfully complete the mediation process with him or her. Sometimes, cooperation is difficult because of the couple’s dynamic rather than because of fear or a lack of trust. Mediation is a series of guided conversations through which you and your spouse reach your own settlement and compromise. If you cannot talk with him or her without becoming angry or defensive, you cannot mediate your divorce.

You Do Not Want to Make Difficult Divorce-related Decisions

With mediation, you have more control over your divorce’s outcome than you have when you litigate your divorce.  You have even more control over its outcome when you do a collaborative divorce.

Some people like having professionals handle the difficult parts of their divorces, like determining their child custody arrangements and dividing their assets. If you feel you would rather have the court take this level of control in your divorce, mediation may not be a good choice for you.

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Divorce Lawyer

Mediation is not the right choice for every divorcing couple, and there is nothing wrong with recognizing that it is not the ideal option for your divorce. Sometimes, making this realization is easier when you discuss your case in detail with an experienced divorce lawyer. Get the conversation started with a member of Roop Xanttopoulos Babounakis & Klam, PLLC today by contacting our firm to set up your initial legal consultation.

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