When Is Divorce Court A Better Option Than Mediation?
Mediation is becoming a very popular option for couples who want to get a divorce, but it is not for everyone. Mediation sessions require couples, either individually or separately, to meet with a mediator, who is an objective third party. Mediators do not provide legal advice but instead, they foster communication and compromise between the two parties.
Mediation has many benefits, including being less time-consuming and more affordable than litigation. There are times, though, when mediation is not an appropriate choice for divorce. Below, our Brentwood divorce attorney explains when litigation may be a better option.
One Party Largely Handles the Family Finances
Mediation requires both parties to be on an even playing field. When one person knows much more about the household’s finances than the other, it gives them an advantage over the other. Any advantage one party has over the other may result in mediation being unsuccessful. Additionally, if one spouse is suspected of hiding assets, such as having a separate bank account, mediation also likely will not work.
You and Your Spouse are Not Speaking
Things sometimes become so contentious between two spouses getting a divorce that they cannot even stand to speak to each other. If you and your spouse are not speaking, the time to start is not during mediation sessions. Mediation requires you to work with your spouse in a cooperative manner so you can reach an agreement. If you cannot even talk to each other, mediation has little chance of working.
One Spouse Does Not Want the Divorce
During mediation, you may have to resolve many different issues with your spouse. These may include how you will divide marital property, child custody and support, alimony, and more. If either you or your spouse cannot even agree to the divorce, it will be very difficult for you to agree on any other term. During litigation, you do not need to reach an agreement with your spouse. A judge will make all the decisions for you.
There is a History of Domestic Violence
Again, because mediation requires both parties to be on a level playing field, if there is a history of domestic violence between you and your spouse, mediation will not work. Domestic violence places the perpetrator in a power of control and authority over the other party, and mediation sessions are not the place for intimidation tactics. A judge will not allow them during a divorce trial, and will make sure that all decisions are fair.
Our Divorce Attorneys in Brentwood Can Advise You or Your Options
If you are getting a divorce and are unsure of whether mediation or a divorce trial is right for your case, call our Brentwood divorce attorneys at Beal, Nations & Crutcher. Our experienced attorneys can review the facts of your case, advise you of your rights, and outline the benefits and drawbacks of the different options you have. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.