Some couples decide they will try to reach a settlement before they file for divorce, and engage in mediation only to find they cannot come to any agreement. Other couples are never able to mediate any issue, and end up with a judgment after months (sometimes a year or two) in litigation. In between, there are those who attempt mediation at one point, reach no agreement at first but do so at a later time short of the trial date.
What is the difference between them? And, if you want to avoid the emotional and financial impact of divorce litigation, how can you tell when you can benefit from mediating your divorce before filing for divorce at your local courthouse?
To answer these two questions, it may help you to determine what degree of trust you and your spouse still have for each other.
A certain (minimum) degree of trust between parties is important to any meaningful mediation, but more so in a family case because of the emotional ties between the parties.
Lack of trust alone can derail any mediation because the party lacking trust in the other will be weary during mediation negotiations. This can result in either a short mediation, where the distrusting party ends the mediation abruptly at the first sign of what he or she may perceive as the other party’s game. Or, it can also result in negotiations taking longer.