Resolving issues in a New York divorce through mediation is usually less expensive than asking the court to resolve them through trial. However, certain conditions are necessary to mediate matters like property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The primary condition that needs to be present is the ability to communicate. Sometimes a mediator is the very thing that can work to facilitate the communication necessary to resolve the issues needed to be agreed upon to legally separate or divorce.
Unfortunately, many relationships have broken down because of difficulties communicating. When a couple engages in deceit, threats, coercive behavior, or physical violence, the relationship may be too damaged to have a rational discussion of options, especially with regard to such matters as maintenance and child custody. Just because any of those aspects exist, does not mean it is impossible to mediate. As, it all starts with the willigness to try to mediate. Last week’s blog was about situations where mediation is worth trying, even in high conflict relationships. If one spouse is phsyically afraid of the other, because of prior domestic violence for example, it is possible that he or she may agree to things in the process of mediation in order to get away from the other spouse.
Couples that have a high degree of conflict or even abuse in their relationships may not be able to communicate with each other in a productive way, but instead they may communicate out of strong destructive emotions like extreme anger (anger is not uncommon with mediating couples or fear. In those cases, mediation is not a good option because peaceful negotiations are not possible. I should mention, that although past performance is not predictive of future results, I have seen a high success rate in resolving issues for the couples that have agreed to mediate. But today’s blog is about a case, not one of mine, in which at least one of the parties to a mediation had second thought afterwards. Continue reading