In previous blogs, we have discussed the many advantages of divorce mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that is much less stressful and expensive than court litigation. When a couple disagrees about child custody, spousal maintenance, or other terms of their divorce, mediation can help them reach an agreement that works for both parties. However, mediation is not right for every divorcing couple. A qualified divorce attorney can help you decide whether or not mediation will be in your best interests while working to protect your rights throughout the divorce process.

Marriages Involving Domestic Violence or Abuse

The main element of any abusive relationship is an imbalance of power. An abusive spouse may use physical violence, threats of harm, intimidation, gaslighting, and other tactics to maintain power and control over his or her victim. It is important to note that domestic violence does not only include physical abuse. It can also involve financial abuse, emotional or verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. If a person is leaving an abusive marriage, divorce mediation is rarely recommended, because the imbalance of power makes a cooperative mediation process virtually impossible.

Divorce Involving Financial Fraud

Many divorce issues discussed during mediation involve finances. In order for spouses to negotiate the terms of their divorce, both spouses must be transparent and honest about the assets they own, the income they earn, and the debts they owe. If a spouse is hiding assets or lying about income, property, or debts, mediation may be a waste of time. Some spouses may even dissipate, or waste, marital assets prior to divorce by spending money on an affair, drug or alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, or for other reasons. If you have reason to believe that your spouse is lying about their finances or has dissipated marital assets, you should contact an attorney right away.

High-Conflict Marriage

In order for mediation to work, spouses must be able to discuss divorce issues in good faith. If a couple cannot set their difference aside long enough to negotiate the terms of their divorce, they will have little chance of resolving issues through mediation. Couples going through a high-conflict divorce may try mediation with the hope that they can reach a resolution, but if mediation fails, the case may need to go to litigation.

Contact a Wheaton Mediation Lawyer

Mediation can be an effective way to resolve divorce-related disputes. However, it is not suitable in every circumstance. If you are getting divorced, and you are unsure if mediation is right for you, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. for help. Schedule a confidential discussion with a skilled DuPage County divorce attorney by calling our office at 630-462-9500.


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