Are you considering filing for divorce? If so, well-meaning friends and relatives may be encouraging you to use mediation. It’s true that in many circumstances, mediation saves both money and time for divorcing couples.
However, mediation is not the right solution for all divorcing couples. To determine whether it is a viable option for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you and your spouse still communicate effectively?
- Do you both agree that divorce is the right move?
- Can you both compromise?
- Do the two of you know all of your marital debts and assets?
Unless you answered “yes” to all of the above queries, mediation is not likely going to produce the results you need to end your marriage. Here’s why.
Mediation involves communication
If you and your spouse can’t communicate civilly with one another, it’s highly unlikely that mediation is the right vehicle for your divorce. Participants have to be willing to approach the process politely and with a spirit of compromise. If the two of you can’t even exchange the kids without snarling and sniping at one another, this does not bode well for mediation.
There may not be attorney-client privilege
Many (but not all) mediators are also attorneys — but they are not your attorney. That means that they might not be bound by the attorney-client privilege. It may be possible that certain facts uncovered during mediation could at some point become part of the public record. That might not be what you intend.
The best way to determine whether you and your spouse are good candidates for a mediated divorce is to ask a family law attorney what they recommend for your unique situation.