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When Divorce Mediation is a Bad Idea


For many people who have decided to get a divorce, mediation can seem like a great option.

After all, it can be more cost-efficient, faster, and less contentious than a regular divorce.

Plus, you won’t have to go to court and mediations are private and confidential. However, it’s important to understand that mediation is not for everyone.

Spouses who have success in mediation usually communicate better than most divorcing couples.

They also approach mediation with reasonable expectations and a willingness to compromise.

More than anything, they come to the table with a sincere desire to make important decisions about their divorce so that they can move on with their lives.

When this is not the case, mediation is likely to fail.

When you should consider hiring a mediation attorney for your divorce

Although mediators are trained professionals, they are not intended to be used in every situation.

In certain cases, it’s in the best interests of both parties to hire a lawyer and pursue a traditional divorce.

Listed below are some examples of when hiring a Fresno and San Diego mediation attorney for your divorce is the best option:

      • Domestic violence. If there is a history of domestic violence in the relationship, then mediation is likely a bad idea. In mediation, you will spend a lot of time talking face to face with your mediator and your spouse. If being in the same room as your spouse is difficult and could cause arguments or potential violence, then mediation is not for you.
      • Child abuse. If there is any history of child abuse in the relationship by either parent, it’s recommended to use traditional divorce methods.
      • Unwilling to compromise. If one spouse is too stubborn to compromise on anything, it will bring the mediation to a standstill.
      • A power imbalance. In some relationships, one spouse does all the talking, hogging the spotlight while the other remains timid and shy. If your relationship with your spouse has a severe power imbalance, it will be difficult to mediate fairly, and you may be better off with an attorney representing you.
      • Bad faith. If one of the party’s is trying to use mediation to delay the divorce or is hiding information or being secretive, it is unlikely mediation will work.

Contact a Fresno and San Diego mediation lawyer today

If you’re unsure if mediation is right for you, we are here to help.

At the Law Offices of Rebecca Medina, we are a compassionate team of dedicated professionals who understand the ins and outs of California’s laws and statutes.

We can help you make an informed decision about mediation vs. traditional divorce.

Give us a call today at 559-324-5427 in Fresno or 858-285-4315 in San Diego, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

We’re always ready to help.

Rebecca MedinaAbout the Author: Rebecca Medina

Rebecca Medina is an experienced Family Law attorney, mediator and Collaborative Divorce Lawyer serving the Fresno and San Diego areas. She handles cases ranging from complex divorce matters to child custody, spousal support, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, QDROs and uncontested divorce cases. She was rated “Clients’ Choice” by Avvo.

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