Generally speaking, mediated divorce is a great solution for couples looking to dissolve their marriage amicably and start over in life.
You probably know the obvious advantages of divorce mediation over contested courtroom divorce:
- It saves time.
- It saves money.
- It minimizes hurt feelings. The two of you will be able to look one another in the eye afterward.
- It’s better for the kids. They don’t need to see you going to war with one another.
- It’s on the QT – private, not a matter of public record.
With all these pluses in mind, when is mediation not a good idea?
- When you don’t have good information. If your partner is not upfront about his or her finances, that is a danger sign. Heed it.
- When there is even a hint of coercion, abuse, domineering or heavy manipulation in the air, or in the past. If one side is bullying the other, it’s not mediation, its dictation.
- When you just don’t trust the other party. You cannot have confidence in the outcome of a mediated solution if you think the other person is a liar.
- If the other side is angry. Mediation requires a cool head, and the willingness to let unhappy parts of the past go. If you, or the other party, is unable to do this, mediation will be an uphill struggle.
In truth, most couples come to the mediation with good faith and a desire to undo the marriage with honest intentions. This does not mean you ignore your best interests or the best interests of the child. But you must be confident in the other person’s basic decency.
When this confidence is not there, do not pretend it is.
For more on the right (and wrong) way to do mediation, talk to use at our West Palm Beach office today.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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