Is Divorce Mediation Always Appropriate?

collaborative divorce

Divorce mediation is one way that couples can work through their issues as they split up. These mediation sessions can be quite productive for some couples, but they are not going to work for everyone. If you have questions about divorce mediation and other methods of dealing with conflicts in divorce, a Shelby County, Tennessee divorce lawyer from our firm is ready to help you out.

When Can You Choose Divorce Mediation?

A couple can choose to go through mediation at most stages of the divorce process. They can even go to mediation before they even file for divorce if they are feeling particularly cooperative. The couple can sit down at the negotiating table and, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, they can begin talking about what they want and what they think would be fair. Topics covered during mediation can include:

  • Child support
  • Child custody and visitation schedules
  • How much alimony is paid and for how long
  • How marital property and debts will be divided

Divorce mediation can even be used once the papers are signed and you can officially call your spouse a former spouse. If you or your ex want to modify an agreement like child custody or alimony, mediation can be used to negotiate any changes.

Is Divorce Mediation Ever Mandatory?

Judges generally want you to try mediation before you go to court, so you can be ordered to at least attempt a session before the court will do anything else. If mediation is unsuccessful or unproductive, then other solutions will be looked at.

Does Mediation Cost Money?

The cost of divorce mediation can vary based on a few factors, namely where you live and how many sessions you require. If you want at least some idea of what you can expect to pay, we can tell you that the average fee is $50 per hour according to the website for the state’s courts.

Is Mediation a Bad Option for Some Couples?

Divorce mediation can help many couples come to agreements about important issues. It is not for everyone though, and there are some situations in which mediation would actually be inappropriate and potentially unfair to one of the parties involved. Mediation is supposed to put two people on a level playing field, but it is hard for things to feel that way if:

  • Domestic violence or abuse has occurred
  • The power balance between the spouses is not close to being equal
  • One spouse has hidden assets
  • One spouse is dealing with a substance abuse or addiction issue

In situations like these, it’s just going to be difficult to get anywhere in a mediation session. One person might even get taken advantage of as a result of a tilted playing field.

Contact Our Lawyers Today

If you are ready to file for divorce or respond to your spouse’s petition, you should have experienced legal help on your side. Contact Rice Law and learn more about our experience and what we can do for you in this trying time. Call today and let us set up an initial consultation,