When Not to Use Mediation Services for a Divorce

Mediation services provide many benefits to couples that are seeking a divorce. Not only does mediation avoid the arduous process of litigation but it also allows couples to deal with their problems peacefully and respectfully. There are no winners/losers in mediation, just two people working out a compromised solution that benefits both of them. For that reason, mediation has become more and more commonplace among couples that are seeking a divorce. However, there are a few cases where mediation cannot be used.

If There Is An Active Restraining Order

In cases when there is an active restraining order or a member of the couple files for a restraining order, mediation is usually not an option. Traditional litigation will need to be used because the couple cannot legally meet due to the restraining order. Through litigation, both members of the couple will hire their own attorney and present their cases. Mediation can only work in situations where the couple can meet privately outside of a courtroom and a restraining order prevents that from happening. Also, because the nature of mediation requires a couple that can healthily and constructively work towards a compromised solution, cases, where a restraining order is present, are not conducive to mediation.

Cases of Domestic Abuse

For many of the same reasons as stated above, in cases where there has been domestic abuse, mediation cannot be used. Because mediation works best in situations where both members of a couple can respectfully communicate without a power imbalance, it is impossible to mediate in cases of domestic abuse. In these scenarios, couples should use traditional litigation, and those who have experienced domestic abuse may consider getting a restraining order against that spouse on the grounds of domestic abuse.

Cases With Self-Employed Persons

Mediation, like litigation, requires a complete understanding of both parties’ assets. This is why mediating with a couple where one or both individuals gains income through self-employment can cause problems. Self-employed individuals will need to have their income calculated and this can cause difficulties when creating an arrangement. Mediation is considered pre-litigation and works best when there are clear defined assets for the mediator to work with when figuring out a settlement that works for both parties. Although it is not impossible for a self-employed person to seek mediation with their partner, it can be much more complicated.

Questions? Contact Deirdre Healy in Worcester

If you have questions about when to use mediation, or if you and your spouse should use mediation, feel free to contact Deirdre Healy. Deirdre Healy would be happy to answer any of your questions about mediation.

Disclaimer: Emails sent to dhealy@dhealylaw.com do not establish lawyer/client relationship.