Seven Signs That Indicate You May Want to Skip Mediation1. 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.