Am I a Good Candidate for Divorce Mediation?

By Bob Matteucci

Many people wonder if they can mediate their divorce instead of having to go through a traditional divorce. It is possible to resolve cases more quickly through mediation than through a traditional divorce and, quite often, save a lot of money on legal fees. 

A New Mexico divorce mediation attorney can talk with you about your mediation potential and address the question of whether you are a good candidate for divorce mediation. 

A Few Stipulations About Mediation

You are not locked into the decision if you choose to try to mediate your case. Mediation’s flexibility will allow you to move forward with a standard contested divorce if the mediation process is ineffective. Also, if you started out with a divorce filed in court, you can still try to resolve as many issues as possible by mediation to minimize the number of issues the judge has to decide. 

When you mediate, both parties will meet with a neutral third party who is often an attorney. However, this third party does not represent either party in the mediation. Mediation gives you the opportunity to make your own decisions about things like custody and visitation. A judge will still have to approve of the terms that the parties agree to through mediation, so you cannot deviate from what the judge will consider reasonable and in the best interests of the children. 

Because you know your family best, it is usually more fitting to mutually write the “life after divorce” playbook, than have those decisions made by a stranger and/or the judge.

What Makes You a Good Candidate for Divorce Mediation?

If you and your spouse have come to terms with your feelings about the situation and are able to discuss highly personal topics calmly, without extreme emotion, you may be good candidates for divorce mediation.

Strong devotion to honest, straightforward communication is a necessary trait for divorce mediation candidates. Mediation is not held in a courtroom and participants do not take an oath. The temptation to engage in dishonest dialogue can be compelling.

People who put the best interests of the children ahead of their own interests can achieve resolution of many issues through mediation. If you are able to keep the focus on your children’s best interests once the marriage ends, resolving the divorce through a mediator is suitable.

When Is Mediation Not the Best Solution?

It is just as important to understand characteristics or situations that will make your divorce not a good candidate for resolution by mediation as it is to know what can make you a candidate for mediation. Here are just a few examples of situations that do not tend to experience successful mediation: 

  • Relationships in which there is a history of domestic violence or abuse are usually not good candidates for divorce mediation because the victim often agrees to whatever the abuser wants out of fear or intimidation.  
  • When one or both parties is highly argumentative or confrontational, mediation is more likely to be less than a productive means of resolving differences. 
  • If either party refuses to accept the termination of the marriage, the mediation process may be intentionally hindered to delay the final divorce.

If you choose to pursue mediation of your divorce or want more information about doing so, a New Mexico Family Law Attorney can talk with you and provide the guidance you need. Get in touch with Bob Matteucci today.

About the Author
Bob Matteucci is a board certified family law specialist, with a statewide practice in the area of divorce and family law.