Are There Any Indicators That Mediation Is Not Advisable?

Generally, mediation works well for almost everyone. However, when one of these “caution” flags is present, mediation may not be advisable:

  • Active restraining orders or ongoing domestic abuse.
  • Untreated substance abuse
  • A chronic imbalance of power between the spouses, or
  • One spouse has wasted marital assets, concealed assets, or engaged in similar behaviors.

If you think that one (or more) of these situations is present in your marriage, you should raise the issue with your mediator as soon as possible. You can do this in a separate session or in joint session. You may have more power than you realize, but it is also possible that a collaborative law process may be more appropriate than mediation. In collaborative law, attorneys for both spouses have had special training and they sign an agreement that they will not litigate. Referrals are available for collaborative-law attorneys.