Divorce mediation can be used successfully in most, but not all, situations where a couple is ending their marriage. The following will explain three scenarios where divorce mediation is unlikely to be successful.
The first is if domestic violence is present in the marriage. Often the power balance between the parties is too great for mediation to succeed. If one spouse fears the other, then most likely the fearful spouse is not going to be able to comfortably assert opinions and creatively engage in mediation. This is a situation where each party having his or her attorney present may be helpful. However, as a general matter couples that have domestic violence issues are not great candidates for divorce mediation.
Another situation where even an experienced San Francisco divorce mediator will likely have difficulty helping the parties resolve their issues is when either party has a major drug or alcohol problem. Substance issues can be disruptive to the mediation process for many reasons. The user may fail to show up for mediations sessions, or be under the influence of a substance at a divorce mediation session. It is often very difficult to negotiate issues when a party is under the influence. Additionally, the using party may later sabotage the agreement. Generally speaking people with substance issues are often difficult to work with and unpredictable –depending upon the intensity of the problem.
If either or both parties have major mental health impairments, mediating a divorce may be impossible too. This absolutely depends on the type and severity of the mental health issues. It is in your best interest to disclose any mental health problems to your San Francisco divorce mediator, so that your mediator can honestly evaluate whether he or she believes mediation will work in your situation. Divorce mediation is not as likely to succeed if substance issues, mental health limitations, or any other life circumstance that renders a party unable to think clearly and rationally, are present.
Contact Lisa Nelson, San Francisco Divorce Mediator, today at (650) 556-8880 for a free initial consultation regarding your divorce mediation matter.