The divorce process is, at its most basic, a negotiation or a series of exercises in compromise. One of the first strategies of compromise that a couple can try is divorce mediation. Mediation is one method divorcing couples can use to settle a divorce without the stress and worry associated with a trial or a long, contentious case. There are numerous benefits to using divorce mediation, and it is often successful, but in some cases, it just doesn’t work.
Doesn’t Work: In the divorce mediation process, there is no judge involved. When the two parties seeking a divorce through mediation do not agree on parts of the divorce agreement, no one enforces the decision either way. Mediation is dependent on both parties being able to collaborate and compromise. This vital element of the divorce mediation process means it is not going to work for every couple. If a couple seeking a divorce is not amicable or the divorcing couple has significantly different views on how to split assets or debts, mediation may fail. When mediation fails, don’t be discouraged. A failed mediation does mean that the divorce case is more complicated than initially planned, but many couples find it difficult to resolve all the issues in their divorce through mediation. Accept the situation for what it is and consider your options.
Options If Divorce Mediation Fails:
1. Try Again – some couples find that one effort at divorce mediation isn’t enough to resolve all the issues in their divorce. It could be that it was a stressful day for one or both parties. Emotions may have been running high at that particular moment in time. One or both parties involved may change their mind after having a little space and time to think about the issues. In these situations, trying mediation again can be successful.
2. Try to Settle – If a couple does not want to try mediation a second or third time or they have attempted mediation multiple times and have been unsuccessful, they may need to discuss the issues on their own. It may take weeks or months, but some couples find that they need the time to hash out their differences and work through them slowly to get the emotions out of the way and be more effective in reaching a fair compromise. Couples who can agree can settle; even if there is already a trial date set for the divorce. 95% of divorces end up settling before their trial date. It’s also important to remember that while you may not be able to agree on every issue, anything you do decide on will make it that much easier.
3. Go to Court – If a couple cannot agree, they will need to go to court. Only 5% of divorces end up in court as it is more time-consuming and more expensive than the other options available. If you need more information on how to seek a divorce in California or if you need information on divorce mediation and how it affects your California divorce case, please get in touch with one of the experienced family law attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.