When Pursuing a Mediated Divorce Is a Mistake
You’ve probably heard about the cost benefits and lack of adversarial encounters associated with divorce mediation. Granted, these qualities are appealing and are actual advantages — but only when the nature of your divorce is suitable for mediation. Otherwise, mediation can saddle you with an outcome that’s anything but favorable.
A Forbes magazine article aptly points out what aspects of a couple’s relationship make mediation the wrong divorce approach. Such characteristics include:
- Suspicion of hidden assets. Mediation uses a neutral third party whose goal is getting you and your spouse to reach a compromise. Unlike trials, mediation has no legal phase where your attorney discovers evidence. Therefore, no real investigation, asset tracing or string pulling occurs to discover what underlies a red flag. When a couple has considerable wealth, mediation costs can be insignificant compared with undisclosed assets. Generally, it’s the husband who hides assets in a divorce, and statistics show that women pursue divorces more frequently than men.
- A domineering spouse. Because mediation involves give and take, when one spouse dominates, no compromise can occur. The less-aggressive spouse may re-experience all the reasons he or she sought divorce in the first place, but without any fair resolution.
- Domestic violence. When one spouse has been violent in the relationship, you have an extreme case of domination. In this type of marriage, mediation tends to further victimize the spouse subjected to domestic violence rather than offer fair resolution.
- Drug addiction. Reaching agreements requires level-headed communication. Typically, drug addiction prevents analytical thinking and effective verbal exchanges.
Most law firms settle litigated divorces outside of court, and you can avoid the expense of a full blown trial.
Before you jump to the conclusion that you want to mediate your Long Island divorce, discuss your situation with an experienced lawyer.