Mediation is a very popular rising star in the modern divorce world. Divorce has become more a part of everyday life and less of an uncommon and contentious battle for many couples. Choosing mediation allows families to remain in control of their divorce and move forward without causing lasting damage to their relationship with their ex or their children.
However, while mediation is an incredible tool that can make divorce simpler and less expensive for quite a few families, it is not a miracle solution that works in every scenario. The following three situations are all warning signs that mediation might not be good for your divorce.
You suspect hidden assets or can't place a value on what you own
If you believe that your spouse has hidden valuable possessions or funded a secret account, mediation won't protect you from that underhanded tactic. You will only divide the assets that you know about, and you and your spouse will have to put a value on those assets yourselves.
Obviously, that process won't turn out fairly if you don't have all the right information. If you have any reason to believe that your ex hasn't disclosed everything, it may be better to plan for a court-based divorce to protect yourself. If it turns out your ex lied to the courts, at least you will have the potential to take action in the future.
Your ex has been abusive or is a total bully
If your spouse engages in emotional, physical or financial abuse tactics, they will likely continue to do so during mediation. The same is true of bullying behaviors. If your spouse is aggressive and controlling, it may be difficult if not impossible to secure a fair mediation outcome even with your own attorney representing your best interests.
If you don't stand on equal footing with your spouse, you should decide now to just avoid this and let a judge guide the process for your family.
You have reasons to request all parenting time
If your family has had issues with the way your spouse treats your children, that could get worse during or after your divorce. You need to make decisions during this process that look at not just what you need, but also what is best for the children.
Many times, sharing parental rights and responsibilities is the ideal solution. It is also the only one that the courts will likely sign off on unquestioningly after mediation. If you need full custody in order to protect your children, you may need to forgo mediation in order to better protect your kids. In that scenario, it will probably be much easier for you to litigate your divorce than to make unusual arrangements in mediation and ask the courts to enforce them.
If you aren't sure whether mediation would be a good idea or a disaster, discussing your family situation with an experienced Colorado divorce attorney can help you make a more informed and effective decision.