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Michigan Family Law Blog

Seven Signs You Should Not Mediate Your Divorce

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Jan 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Mediation can often produce a more satisfactory agreement during a divorce proceeding than allowing a judge who does not know your family to make decisions for you. However, mediation may not work for every couple. There are certain cases and situations in which mediation may not be productive or cost-effective. Our Michigan divorce mediation lawyer discusses seven situations in which mediation may not be a wise decision.

Seven Signs That Indicate You May Want to Skip Mediation

1. A partner is hiding assets and money.

For an effective mediation, the spouses must openly and honestly disclose all assets and money. If a spouse believes his or her partner is hiding assets or money, the person may want to skip mediation and use the funds to hire an investigator instead.

2. Cases involving domestic abuse.

Mediation usually does not work for couples when domestic abuse is an issue. If someone is concerned about personal safety, a divorce proceeding in a formal courtroom where guards are present and ready to intervene if a spouse becomes abusive or threatening may be a better option.

3. Spouses want to punish each other.

Mediation requires a certain level of cooperation. If spouses are determined to punish each other because they are bitter or angry, mediation is unlikely to produce fair results for either party. A mediator cannot force either party to cooperate or agree to compromise.

4. The case involves an unfit parent.

If the case involves an unfit parent or a negligent parent, one or both spouses may be seeking full custody. If a contested custody battle is anticipated, mediation will probably not resolve custody or any other issues.

5. One spouse does not want a divorce.

If one of the spouses is resisting the divorce, mediation may not be the best choice for the parties. In most successful mediations, the spouses can at least agree that the marriage relationship has ended, and a divorce is necessary. If a spouse does not want a divorce, that spouse is not going to try to settle any issues during mediation.

6. The financial cost may be too high when a spouse is stubborn.

If a spouse will not negotiate fairly during mediation or will dig his or her heels in on important issues, the cost of mediation may not be financially sound. In mediation, the parties split the mediator's fee, and each party incurs attorney's fees. When a spouse is not going to budge, mediation can add to the cost of the divorce without providing any benefits.

7. The parties have a pre-nuptial agreement.

In some cases, a spouse may want to re-negotiate a pre-nuptial agreement during mediation. If the pre-nuptial agreement is valid and legal, the other party may not want to go through the time and effort to mediate when he or she already has an agreement that is satisfactory.

Seek Advice from a Michigan Divorce Lawyer

The choice to mediate during a divorce proceeding can involve several complex issues. An experienced Michigan divorce lawyer can help you decide whether mediation is a good option in your case. Schedule a consult with Michigan mediation lawyer, Cameron C. Goulding today to discuss your divorce case.

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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