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Many a divorcee has probably wondered, “When Should I go to Divorce Mediation?” Will my spouse take my demands seriously if I go to divorce mediation first or should I take him/her to court first and let him/her have a taste of alternative.

I read a Huffington Post article the other day that argued that mediation was unlikely to work at the beginning of your divorce. Opinions vary, but I strongly believe that mediation can work at the beginning of your divorce. The author  argued that in order for mediation to work you first need to have a taste of how awful court is. That somewhere between the expense and the devastation, you will decide that it is better to settle than fight and then mediation will be a workable alternative to courtroom litigation.

Is it better to go to court first?

This argument assumes that the only way to express the emotions you are likely to feel during a divorce–anger, fear, sadness, abandonment–is by charging into a court room lawyers blazing.  And this simply is not true. Not only is it not true, but it is possibly one of the worst places to release your emotional upset. The judges have no pity. They can’t. We are a no fault state. They have to stay strong. How else can they look at broken heart after broken heart without crying too. To do their jobs correctly, they have to focus on the law, their responsibilities to enforce it, and remain objective.

Mediators in contrast make no decisions for you or your spouse. Therefore, we can be supportive to both of you and consider each parties emotional state in guiding your settlement discussions. Conversations can be had that help to relieve some of the upset. Settlements can be reached that make it easier for both sides to make the transition from married to single life. And perhaps must importantly, a business relationship can be formed. And you are going to need that business relationship if you are going to be able to raise your children together.

Can every divorce benefit from mediation?

Perhaps not. But I disagree with anyone who makes the blanket assumption that mediation is a poor fit for couples who are just getting started in the divorce process. Whether you resolve one issue or all of your issues by settlement, you will be far better off in the end if you were able to reach any agreements.  Ready to give divorce mediation a closer look? All you have to do is book that first appointment.

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