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When to consider litigation over mediation in divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Family Law |

These days, mediation is often favored in divorce since it is generally less adversarial, less expensive and in times faster than litigation. It is a process that allows both parties to work together with a neutral mediator to reach a mutually agreeable settlement about the divorce terms.

However, mediation may not be appropriate and effective in some divorce cases, such as those that:

Have a history of domestic violence

If there is a history of domestic violence or any form of abuse during the marriage or right before the divorce, power imbalance and safety concerns make mediation unsuitable.

Involve noncooperative spouses

An important element of mediation is cooperation. If one party is not willing to cooperate during the process, such as refusing to disclose financial information, mediation may not be effective.

Lack willingness to compromise

Mediation requires both parties to be willing to negotiate and compromise. If one party is completely uncompromising or unrealistic about their demands, litigation may be the better option.

Affect the child’s welfare

If there are significant disagreements about child custody and one party is insistent on having sole custody or there are serious concerns about the child’s welfare, the court may need to make the decision instead.

Involve complex matters

When aspects of the divorce are complex, making it difficult to come to an agreement out of court, mediation may not be a viable choice. For instance, if there is disagreement over the valuation of assets, litigation might be necessary.

Determining which approach is suitable to your situation requires a careful review on the circumstances surrounding the divorce and whether you and your spouse can communicate and compromise properly. If you are having a tough time deciding, it is advisable to seek guidance from a legal professional experienced in divorce and its issues to ensure you are making informed decisions towards protecting your rights and future.