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When will mediated divorce not work?

Many people believe that divorces happen in the courtroom, but this is not always the case. In fact, the divorces that cost the least and produce the lowest amount of stress often never see the inside of a courtroom at all.

Mediated divorce offers a number of advantages, chief among them being quicker and cheaper than trial divorce. However, it is not possible to mediate every single divorce. According to Family Education, mediated divorce is usually not a good choice in high-conflict divorces or divorces where one spouse holds all the information about the couples’ assets.

High-conflict divorces

The cornerstone of a mediated divorce is compromise and negotiation. In order for mediation to work, both parties of the ex-couple must be willing to work together. This teamwork ensures that the terms of the divorce are acceptable for everybody.

However, if your ex-spouse cannot have a rational conversation without it becoming a fight, it is unlikely that you will be able to negotiate well enough for mediation to be effective. Additionally, if one person wants the divorce but the other person does not, mediation is also not likely to be the best choice.


If one party of the marriage has all the knowledge about the assets, then mediation is also probably not the best choice. This is because a mediator does not have the authority to force the knowledgeable spouse to reveal the assets. An attorney does not have this authority, either, but an attorney can take the situation to a judge, who does have the authority to do so. Mediation is not possible in this instance.