Sometimes a little bit of humor can help us put things in perspective and relieve a little bit of tension in a given situation. Mediation is a great tool to resolve divorce issues, but it doesn’t work in every situation, especially in a situation where the parties are set on a particular outcome.
With that in mind, I offer you a list of 10 signs why mediation may not work in your divorce. While some of these 10 signs may seem silly, they all contain a grain of truth which can make mediation a useless pursuit for the parties. They can reflect a particular state of mind that is not really conducive to negotiating and reaching a divorce settlement agreement.
I use the second-person singular pronoun, you for the purpose of clarity. But you can be your spouse, not necessarily you. These are not in any particular order, although the first one is very real.
1. You want to “win” no matter what the cost may be. This can be a financial as well as an emotional cost.
2. You and your spouse can’t agree on what day it is, much less sit down to talk civilly with each other.
3. When you ask each other a question, the answer is “talk to my lawyer.”
4. You think mediation is for pansies and weak-willed people. Examples of famous people who easily dispel this fantasy, and who engaged in mediation or negotiation, include Madonna (in her recent divorce), and baseball player Alex Rodriguez.
5. You think negotiating is a sign of weakness.
6. You think there is only one solution to a problem.
7. You think “My Way” is a lifestyle and not just one of Frank Sinatra’s signature songs.
8. You think “The War of the Roses” is a fictional movie. It is a fictional account until you remember a particularly horrific news item in your local newspaper.
9. You’d much rather subsidize your lawyer’s country club fees than split any assets with your spouse.
10. You’re stuck in the past. Your focal point is not the present or future, with a view to finding solutions.
If none of the above are present in your divorce, or are not really pronounced, then perhaps mediation may be an available alternative to a contested divorce.