3 reasons divorce mediation could fail

Mediation offers you an alternative way to settle your divorce. It comes with several advantages compared to the more traditional route of litigation.

When you use mediation, you and your spouse get to design the settlement and future you want, rather than relying on a judge you do not know to make decisions for you. Mediation can save you time, money and conflict, yet it will only do so if you and your spouse prepare well.

Failing to prepare for mediation will reduce the chance of success

Mediation does not always work out. Here are three reasons divorce mediation could fail:

  1. You lack the right attitude: Mediation requires you both to enter the room in a spirit of compromise. You need to put your past behind you and accept that you need to compromise to move forward. Without it, you will stay stuck where you are.


  1. You do not understand the relevant laws: Understanding how a judge would divide property or award custody helps set parameters. It lets you set realistic expectations and avoid arguing to get something that no judge would approve.


  1. You refuse to see your spouse’s point of view: You need to show each other empathy and try to understand why the other person is taking a particular position on an issue. For example, you might want your child to live with you full time and refuse to accept your spouse’s request to have the child stay with them on weekends. However, if you put yourself in their position, you might see that your spouse wants to be able to read your child a bedtime story a couple of times a week. Or they want to enjoy a long lazy breakfast cooking pancakes together. Both would not be possible if they only have daytime visitation rights.


As you can see, there is no real reason why you cannot make divorce mediation work, provided you and your spouse both want it to succeed.