Signs You Need to Give Up on Mediation and Litigate a Divorce

Mediation success rates vary from firm to firm and case to case, but the success rates for couples who self-select divorce mediation can be as high as 90 percent. Despite the promising figures from mediation, it’s certainly not for everyone. Mediation is an ideal solution for couples who mutually agree on the divorce itself, but who have concerns about dividing property, custody, and other logistical aspects of separation. Naturally, this process can conjure up hard feelings and resentment that make mediation difficult. In cases like these, the following signs indicate that litigation might be a more effective alternative.

  • Your spouse is intimidating and uncooperative

Ideally, both parties should make compromises and win an equal number of battles. If one spouse is being overly vindictive, intimidating, and otherwise uncooperative, don’t allow yourself to be bullied into accepting less than you deserve just to avoid litigation. If this was a trend in your relationship—with you conceding every time just to keep the peace—it’s unlikely this will change as the process continues.

  • Your spouse is unreliable

Whether he or she won’t show up to court at all or is stalling to save up for a better lawyer, it’s better to avoid wasting your own time and raise the stakes for the unreliable spouse. For example, your spouse may not lose sleep over missing a mediation appointment because the consequences are minimal, but failure to show up to a court hearing could put the spouse in jeopardy of losing valuable disputes.

  • You are prepared to incur the costs

Litigation is typically far more expensive than mediation. A cost-benefit analysis should always be performed with your attorney before resolving your family law issue in court. It is much easier to do this when there are disputes around property, but it can be nearly impossible when it comes to matters involving children, because you cannot put a dollar amount on a child, or the time you get to spend with them. Litigation should not be your first plan, but it can be the only way to get what you are entitled.

To more effectively weigh the pros and cons of mediation in your unique situation, contact one of the experienced attorneys at DiPietro Family Law Group at 202.609.7446.

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