Why Divorce Mediation Fails.
Despite all the advantages of mediation, my experience has shown there are three main reasons why the mediation process fails in a divorce case. If you aware of them and can avoid these pitfalls ahead of time, your mediation stands an extremely high chance of being successful.
Secret keeping – Something either hidden and later discovered, usually financial, or something not disclosed until late in the process can cause a mediation to fall apart. Obviously hidden bank accounts, savings, or other secret assets increases the distrust between the parties on even the undisputed issues. Therefore, disclose everything early.
Unreasonable expectations – Parties who become frozen in their positions and who are unwilling to approach variables to an agreement with an open mind, can cause a breakdown in the process. Even though this is a very emotional time for you, go into the process knowing you are going to have to give to receive. You can take your time to review and process offers that are made. However, you will have to make decisions, and regardless of what they are, know both sides will leave feeling a bit unsatisfied.
Financial ignorance – Dividing one household into two on the same income that supported the one will have a dramatic if not sometimes devastating impact on the finances in both. Many fail to appreciate the certainty of this event. One should sit down ahead of time face the often harsh reality of no change in income, but doubling of most major expenses. Consider the impact of 2 rents, 2 sets of utilities, separate insurance policies, and the like. You don’t to like it, but if you are prepared for it, there will not be sticker shock when discussing numbers.
Avoiding these pitfalls ahead of time will increase your likelihood of success at mediation.