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Common Reasons Mediation Does Not Work


In a mediated divorce, parties use the help of a professional mediator in order to reach agreements about different aspects of the divorce. Successful mediations can be much less contentious than traditional divorces. They can also be cheaper. Because of the potential benefits, mediation has become a common way to settle divorce issues out of court. However, like everything, mediation has its limits.

For mediation to be successful, both parties must be willing to work together diligently and honestly to reach important decisions about the divorce. When spouses have trouble communicating (something that is common among divorcing couples), the mediation process can be jeopardized.

Listed below are some of the most common problems that lead to unsuccessful mediations:

  • Keeping secrets. Honesty is one of the most essential parts of the mediation process. When one or both parties try to hide important facts from the mediator, this can break down the trust that is necessary for a successful mediation.
  • Unreasonable expectations. This is perhaps the most common reason mediations fail. The idea behind mediation is essentially that both parties can be reasonable and make compromises when they must. If you enter mediation proceedings with a stubborn unwillingness to compromise or a desire to “win,” it is unlikely your mediation will be successful.
  • Ignoring financial responsibility. Marriages often fail because of financial problems. Mediation is no different. If one spouse is financially irresponsible, this must be fully disclosed and addressed. Lying about finances or trying to hide things like outstanding debts or poor credit will not help with your mediation.
  • Not committed. It’s important that both parties enter the mediation with sincerity and fully committed to finding resolutions to the problems at hand. When one party lacks commitment, mediation is destined to fail.
  • Poor communication. Mediation is for spouses who believe that despite their differences they can keep the communication lines open. If you and your spouse can’t talk without arguing, mediation might not be for you.

When you fall into the above traps, mediation tends to be unsuccessful. However, if you and your spouse can approach the mediation process with an honest desire to compromise and make important decisions about the divorce, the chances of a successful mediation are much higher.

If you’re considering a divorce in Fresno, it’s important to consider all your options before moving forward. Speaking with an experienced divorce mediator in Fresno and San Diego who knows California statutes and how they may affect your case can help you decide what’s best for you.

Contact a family lawyer in Fresno and San Diego

Rebecca Medina is a qualified family law attorney and a trained mediator who has the experience, compassion and skill necessary to help you and your spouse mediate your divorce. Give us a call today at 559-324-5427 in Fresno or 858-285-4315 in San Diego, or contact us online.

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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