Knowledge Base

Complicated Divorce?  Expect More From Mediation 


October 1, 2017
Written by Staff at The Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution

Separating individuals are often convinced by a friend or a family member to go to a lawyer rather than trying to work out an agreement in mediation.

Have you dismissed mediation as too risky, because of:

…..Think again….

You probably owe it to yourself and your soon-to-be-“X” NOT to dismiss something that could save you:

Remember, no divorce agreement is binding until it goes before a judge: 

So, whether both parties hire attorneys to hammer out terms, or together work with a mediator to come to an agreement, the document must ultimately go to court, and be approved by a judge before a divorce can be finalized.  That means that no document will be approved unless it complies with all the legal guidelines and requirements set forth by the Massachusetts Family & Probate Court.

So is it better to get a really “tough lawyer” to fight your spouse’s attorney at each critical decision? How well has fighting over the big, or even small stuff worked so far in your relationship? Probably not well.

Typically, we find that it is not the complexity of the couple’s finances that generate exorbitant sums. Indeed we frequently have clients enter mediation after their frustration levels have reached the breaking point because of the slow progress and excessive fees of their legal experiences. Don’t forget, for every time your attorney digs in his/her heals, the opposing attorney will fight that point. At which your attorney begins the discussion for a different concession- with equal vigor… and more time. Vigor + more time = expensive.

The truth is, in most cases you are being shortsighted not to try to mediate a contentious divorce. It makes much more economic sense to try mediation, with an experienced divorce mediator, who is trained to help people agree on things, before you hire 2 attorneys, with 2 separate retainers, who charge for any time spent on your case including, research, drafting, phone calls (to you, to your spouse’s/partner’s attorney) and many times all emails, even photocopies.   There are many understandable reasons why people gravitate to attorneys to settle a divorce. But none are so convincing, that intelligent people should just dismiss, or ignore an option that might leave them better-positioned during, and after the divorce process. Mediation is an option that works for many separating couples, you owe it to yourselves to try it. You have nothing to lose and a great deal to gain. 

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