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In what situations might divorce mediation be a bad idea?

Divorce mediation is an excellent option for many New York couples seeking to end their marriages. In most cases, mediation is less stressful, less expensive and less contentious than litigation. However, it is not always the right choice for some people.

Part of the duty attorneys owe their clients is helping them identify solutions that will provide the most benefits. At the same time, good lawyers want to minimize any hardships their clients may experience during and after a divorce. As such, skilled attorneys know when and when not to recommend divorce mediation. Some scenarios in which mediation may be inappropriate include the following:

Abuse and violence. When violence and/or abuse occur in a marriage, these negative elements may also be present to some degree during mediation. Many lawyers typically recommend traditional litigation in these situations.

Imbalance of power. When one spouse easily manipulates and overwhelms the other spouse, divorce mediation may fail to protect the less "powerful" spouse. Ask your attorney which option will best protect you, your rights and your assets.

Poor communication. When spouses cannot talk civilly with one another while they are married, they may experience the same issues during divorce mediation. An inability to communicate effectively may indicate the need for a more traditional solution.

Differing desires. When one spouse does not want a divorce, attempts at mediation may fail. For example, if your spouse refuses to acknowledge your desire to end the marriage, it may be wiser to take your case to divorce court.

Regardless of whether you choose a traditional route or opt to try divorce mediation, it is always wise to protect yourself during the proceedings. Seeking guidance from a family law attorney is a wonderful way to accomplish such a goal.

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