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1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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When is Divorce Mediation Not a Good Idea?

Posted on in Chicago divorce attorney

aurora divorce lawyerMediation can be a very useful tool during divorce. During mediation, the spouses are given an opportunity to discuss divorce issues like property division, child custody, and spousal maintenance and, ideally, reach an agreement on these issues. A mediator facilitates the discussions and helps the couple negotiate an agreement.

While many divorcing couples find mediation beneficial, there are many situations in which mediation is insufficient. In some cases, depending on mediation alone may even be harmful.

Mediation May Be Insufficient in The Following Situations

During divorce mediation, the spouses explore various divorce solutions, negotiate the terms of their divorce, and work toward a resolution. However, for mediation to work, the spouses must be willing to negotiate in good faith and work cooperatively toward an agreement. If one or both spouses are unable to do this, mediation may not be a good idea.

Mediation may be the wrong choice if:

  • The couple has experienced domestic violence –  Spouses in an abusive marriage are not encouraged to attend mediation. In any abusive relationship, there is a massive power imbalance. Divorcing spouses cannot reach an agreement when one spouse is afraid to speak up about his or her needs. In order for any type of negotiation to work, the parties must be on equal footing.

  • A spouse is hiding assets or lying about income – Some divorcing spouses try to sway the divorce outcome in their favor by lying about financial matters. For example, a spouse who does not want to pay spousal support may lie about how much money he or she makes. A spouse who does not want his or her spouse to receive a fair share of the marital assets may hide money in an offshore account or transfer assets to friends during the divorce process. If a spouse is not truthful about finances, the other spouse should work with an attorney to ensure that the divorce outcome is based on the actual facts of the case.

  • The spouses cannot communicate effectively – If the spouses cannot talk to each other without the conversation devolving into a huge fight, mediation may not work. Both spouses must be motivated to find a solution and willing to compromise if they want to resolve the divorce through mediation.

Contact an Aurora Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting divorced, it is important to explore the pros and cons of various divorce options. Mediation is a useful tool, but it may not suffice in every situation. Contact Geneva divorce attorney Mathew Williams for legal support and advice. Call 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation.


The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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