Divorce mediation may not always be appropriate

Some Minnesota couples whose marriages are coming to an end consider mediation as a means of reaching an agreement on property division and other matters as an alternative to litigation. But mediation does not always work, and for some couples there could be signs that mediation is not something they should even attempt.

The attitude of both parties going into mediation should be that they want each other to be content with the settlement and with life after the divorce. An angry person who wants the other to suffer in some way is not likely to have a good mediation experience. Likewise, when people are sure that they are right and the other person is wrong, mediation could be impossible to work through.

On the other side of the coin, people who feel guilty or are not able to bring themselves to stand up for their rights could end up accepting an agreement that is unfair to them. They also might accept something less than they are actually entitled to, such as lower child support payments.

Mediation is not recommended when a relationship was violent. It could also be a mistake for a couple to think that mediation will make the divorce process quicker. It can take a long time to come to an accord.

Just because a decision is maned that mediation is not appropriate, this does not mean that the only other alternative is lengthy and expensive litigation. Couples may want to ask their respective family law attorneys to take the lead in negotiating a settlement that might be more acceptable than if a judge was making all of the decisions.

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