The prospect of litigating your divorce might seem unpalatable. Fighting over your settlement agreement may seem like an unnecessary headache, especially since some couples – with the help of a mediator – can work together to resolve theirs. Yet, you might be unsure whether you and your spouse would be good candidates for mediation. By understanding who mediation benefits, you can determine whether it makes sense in your situation.
Couples who can cooperate
Even if you and your spouse do not see eye to eye on the details of your divorce, mediation may still work for you. So long as you two can cooperate and compromise, you will likely be able to reach consensus on any issues you remain far apart on. If you are having trouble reaching an agreement, a mediator can guide you toward one, though they cannot make decisions for you.
You and your spouse may have a history of heated, ugly disagreements. Because mediation does not have to end in an agreement, you may end up where you started if every conversation is a fight. And if your spouse has ever committed physical, verbal or emotional abuse against you, mediation will likely be inappropriate.
Couples who are honest about finances
For mediation to work, you and your spouse will both need to be forthcoming about your finances. If you trust each other to approach these with honesty, it is likely you can work out their division with the help of a mediator. Doing so will be easier if you both have thorough knowledge of each other’s incomes and your marital assets and liabilities.
You may suspect that your spouse is hiding assets to gain the upper hand in your divorce. Or, you may have limited knowledge of your household’s finances. If you don’t trust your spouse to be honest about them, you may need to litigate your divorce.
Couples who will interact in the future
If you and your spouse have children, meditating your divorce may be in your – and their – best interests. You two will likely encounter each other often after divorcing. And on your children’s behalf, you will want to maintain as civil a relationship as possible. Co-parenting after a litigated divorce can be tough, and mediation gives you two greater control over creating a parenting plan that reflects your family’s needs.