Brazil & Benske, LLC

What to do if a spouse refuses mediation

Couples can pursue divorce in several ways. One of the most popular and recommended is mediation with a third-party, mainly because it allows both spouses to air out their grievances. With mediation, the couple can spend less time in the courtroom, allowing them to save both time and money.

Although the collaborative process of mediation offers many advantages, some people will simply not want to go through it. Some may not be comfortable talking with a stranger about every aspect of the separation. Perhaps they would rather fight it out in a courtroom rather than discuss their feelings. It can feel frustrating when you want to go through mediation, but the other spouse refuses. Fortunately, there are some steps to take first. 

Talk with your spouse

A lot of people are reluctant to pursue mediation simply because they do not understand what it fully entails. You should sit down and talk with your spouse about what the meetings will involve. Mediation is not the same as marriage counseling. The couple has already decided to divorce, but mediation aims to make the divorce much easier on all parties involved. Additionally, you want to emphasize that the mediator will not take a side. The mediator's job is to find an equitable division of assets, so both sides are happy. 

Have friends or family members talk with the spouse

Occasionally, spouses will refuse to go to mediation just to spite the other partner. They actively want to make this process as difficult as can be. That is why it may be prudent to talk with the spouse's friends and family to see if they can talk some sense into the person. They may be able to give the spouse information he or she refuses to accept from you. If nothing works, then you may have no choice but to let a judge weigh in on the case. 

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