If your spouse has reluctantly agreed to use mediation to settle your divorce, you may have misgivings about how the process will go. Mediation requires the cooperation and commitment of both spouses, and if your soon-to-be-ex intends to fight you along the way, you may be justified in having doubts.
It is common for one or both spouses to have difficulty controlling their emotions during a divorce, and feelings of anger or resentment may hinder the forward progress of mediation. While it is possible for couples who are having a less-than-amicable breakup to have a successful mediation and reach a fair and workable agreement, you may want to be alert for signs that your mediation process may be breaking down.
Not going the way you expected?
Mediation brings you and your spouse together with your respective attorneys and a neutral third party to negotiate the issues in your divorce. Typically, this includes property division, child custody and support matters, but your marriage may have its own unique issues. Ideally, you and your spouse can compromise and reach agreements that will benefit both of you. However, if you notice any of the following, they may be signs that your spouse does not intend to work with you for a peaceful resolution:
- You and your spouse keep rehashing the same arguments without reaching any agreements.
- Your spouse keeps diverting the conversation to topics that are not relevant to the divorce issues you are discussing.
- Hours of discussion have passed without any progress towards a settlement.
- Your spouse takes every opportunity to turn the discussion into a personal attack or stir you into an argument.
- You are the only one making any compromises, and your spouse will not budge about getting his or her way on every issue.
Obviously, both of you cannot get your way every time, and there has to be some give and take for mediation to work. Nevertheless, you should not feel like you are losing every battle because your spouse will not be fair about the process.
Mediation can be a complex matter, especially if you are dealing with a spouse who will not cooperate. This is one reason why it is wise to have an attorney who has experience in the divorce laws of New Jersey and the mediation process. Such knowledge and experience can provide protection for your rights throughout your divorce.