I want a peaceful divorce, but I don’t trust that my spouse will be fully forthcoming in disclosing financial information. Can divorce mediation still work?

It's possible, however, in order for divorce mediation to work successfully, there must generally be a baseline level of trust between two spouses. Central to this level of trust is the requirement that each party must voluntarily disclose all of their assets, debts and other financial information to their mediator at the outset of the mediation. If any one party is unwilling to do this, it will undermine the progress of the divorce mediation. If lack of trust is a major obstacle, then consider a collaborative divorce, where each spouse hires an attorney, but both agree to stay out of court.

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I would like a peaceful and amicable divorce, but I cannot get past the fact that my spouse has been unfaithful to me. Is it okay to feel this way in divorce mediation? Can divorce mediation still work?

YES. Sometimes a spouse will come to divorce mediation feeling hurt, wounded, betrayed or deceived by their spouse. These feelings are normal and understandable. However, this does not mean that they cannot successfully mediate.

The good news is that as you move through the mediation program and emerge from the divorce, these feelings do eventually subside as your focus will begin to shift towards the preservation of their family's future best interests and away from the events and circumstances that led to the divorce.

In fact, with patience and time, you have just as strong possibility of emerging feeling even stronger, more dignified and self-assured than you ever were before.

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I love the idea of mediation, but I am afraid that I will not get everything that I deserve under the law. Will I be able to achieve this in divorce mediation?

ABSOLUTELY, if you choose the right divorce mediator. In fact, your rights will be just as protected in divorce mediation, if not more, than they would be in litigation. A neutral mediator does not take sides, but rather is concerned with protecting everyone’s rights and best interests. The mediator will ensure that both spouses have been heard and will point out anything that is unbalanced in the meetings, or that the law would view as unfair, compelling spouses in the end to reach a very even and well-balanced settlement agreement.

If you are concerned about legal rights, hire an attorney-mediator who is qualified to offer legal guidance and education.

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I am feeling confused and I don’t know if I am ready yet to take the step of legal separation and/or divorce. Does divorce mediation help me to sort out my feelings?

Divorce mediation is a negotiation of terms around finances and children, not a counselling session. Therefore, you should tread with caution and make sure you are in a decent place both spiritually and emotionally before this crucial step is taken. 

The decision to separate and/or divorce is not to be taken lightly and is likely to be the most important decision you will ever make in your lifetime.

Fortunately, at Main Line Family Law Center, we have a highly vetted Divorce Support Network of professionals who to help you sort out some of your fears and deepest concerns and identify any barriers or blockages that are inhibiting you from moving forward in a positive direction towards a healthier and more productive future life.  

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I would like to mediate my divorce but I sense my reluctant spouse will not be on board. What should I do?

BE KIND AND PATIENT. Almost any separation or divorce matter can be mediated, no matter the circumstances. There are times, however, where a spouse may be initially resistant to the idea, usually because they have already been influenced by well-intentioned family or friends who are uninformed about the divorce laws and how they would apply to that spouse's marriage.

However, once spouses are informed about how divorce mediation works, what they can achieve in this process, and how their family can greatly benefit from it for years to come, their usual reaction is that they wished they had heard about the option sooner.

If you push too much, it could backfire.  Therefore, you are encouraged to contact Main Line Family Law Center and kindly suggest that your spouse do the same.  You and your spouse will learn more about divorce mediation and all the available options, which will go a long way towards opening up their eyes to a much better way to obtain a separation or divorce.

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We are currently in litigation and we are not happy with the way our divorce is progressing. Can we switch to divorce mediation to finish?

YES. It is never too late to mediate. Sadly, many couples have discovered the option of divorce mediation only after already being firmly entrenched for years in the throes of an adversarial, litigated divorce. Unfortunately, many times it becomes very difficult for them to extricate themselves from this situation due to costly retainer agreements and a win-lose mindset that has already been ingrained. However, with proper support, it can be done.

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We are already divorced and are having issues with children and a change in our financial situation. Can we mediate?

YES, DEFINITELY. Assuming that spouses obtained a legally binding marital settlement agreement in mediation, there may be times that one ex-spouse may wish to modify portions of the agreement, or perhaps one ex-spouse has violated the terms of the agreement, causing the other to file an action in court for contempt.

Post-divorce mediation can be beneficial in these instances as well since it can allow the parties to resolve their differences amicably without having to resort to the courts for relief. In fact, parties who mediated their divorce settlement have a distinct advantage in these situations since they already succeeded in mediation and they know what it takes to do it again should a dispute arise after the divorce. This is precisely why only very small percentage of mediated divorces ever end up in court at any point after the divorce becomes finalized.

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Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?
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