Choosing to end a marriage is one of the most difficult decisions anyone can make. While your divorce may seem to bring up unique challenges, you are likely not alone. In fact, any married individual has roughly a 40% chance of going through a divorce. How you choose to approach the end of your marriage, though, may make a big difference.
Gone are the days when divorcing couples automatically headed for the courtroom. Nowadays, a growing number of individuals rely on mediation to wrap up their marriages. As you may suspect, though, mediation is not right for everyone. If you notice any of the following four signs, mediation may not be a productive way to end your marriage:
1. You and your spouse do not feel like cooperating
Dissolving a marriage can be both stressful and sad. If you have an uncooperative marriage, you may not have much optimism about working with your spouse to come up with an amicable divorce. Still, because opting for a friendly divorce has its advantages, you may want to be certain you cannot find common ground before choosing an adversarial divorce.
2. You have too many differences to overcome
For mediation to work, you and your spouse must find common ground. Even if you are ready to cooperate, you may have too many differences to overcome in a mediation setting. Before dismissing mediation, though, you should think about areas where compromise is possible. If you cannot think of any, mediating your divorce may be a waste of time.
3. You have experienced domestic violence
Divorce mediation requires equal bargaining power. That is, to reach an acceptable agreement, you must be able to negotiate with your spouse on even terms. As you know, few things can strip you of bargaining power faster than domestic violence. If you have an abusive spouse, trying to dissolve your marriage through mediation may be both unhealthy and unproductive.
4. You suspect your spouse is hiding assets
For a successful mediation, both you and your spouse must make a good-faith effort. Even though you do not mind compromising, you want to receive your fair share of marital property. If you think your spouse is hiding assets, you may need to take advantage of official court proceedings to uncover the deception.
Even though mediation is often an effective way to dissolve a marriage, it is not right for every married couple. By knowing when to opt out of mediation, you can likely make productive decisions for you and your family.