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When Mediation Isn’t the Right Choice for You

scale that reads pros and cons

If you’re considering a divorce, you may have heard that there are now a number of alternatives to going to court and fighting over each detail of your split. Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution offer a less-contentious forum for dividing your property and determining how you and your co-parent will share custody of your children. While these methods of conflict resolution can provide a welcome alternative to court for some couples, they aren’t right for every couple going through a divorce. Learn more about which couples aren’t great candidates for mediation below, and contact a seasoned New York divorce lawyer for more information or to answer any of your questions about divorce or mediation.

When violence has been an issue in the relationship

Psychologists report that abuse in a romantic relationship can have wide-ranging effects on the dynamic between the couple. Even when the threat of physical violence has passed, abused spouses are often unable to stand up to their abusers to advocate for what they want in a split, and being in close proximity to the abuser can be traumatizing.

When you or your spouse are still very angry 

If you can’t imagine having a civil conversation with your ex, or if you know that your spouse is still harboring strong animosity toward you, sitting down at a negotiating table with them probably won’t be productive. While some spouses are able to quell some of their emotions over the course of a divorce and could return to mediation after a courtroom divorce has begun, starting with negotiation simply won’t produce results if one or both parties are simply too mad at the other to communicate calmly.

When you and your spouse are unable to compromise or concede anything of value

The success of mediation hinges on the ability of both spouses to remain somewhat flexible in their desired outcome, able to concede on some issues even while remaining firm in others. If you or your ex find it difficult to imagine being willing to give up on your desired outcome without a fight, or one of you seems set on using the divorce as a way to punish the other, then an attempt at mediation would be doomed to fail.

If you need seasoned, professional, and dedicated legal representation for your New York divorce or custody dispute, contact the Poughkeepsie family law attorneys at Van DeWater & Van DeWater at  845-452-5900.

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