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How do you deal with a divorce mediation impasse?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Divorce

You chose divorce mediation hoping that you can privately and peacefully work towards an agreement that makes the most sense for your situation. However, when you hit a wall in the process it can feel like you only wasted your time. That may not necessarily be the case because there are various strategies that can help you move forward.

Getting past the deadlock

Moving past a seeming deadlock will take dedication from you and your ex. You will both have to be committed to it, but sometimes commitment is not enough, in the heat of the moment try any of these strategies:

  • Take necessary breaks: Mediation, although not involving formal proceedings in public display, can still be taxing and necessitates short or extended breaks.
  • Implement caucuses: A caucus is when the mediator meets each party individually so they can speak more freely about their issues.
  • Start a new mediation: Restart the process and consider getting a new mediator, location and schedule.
  • Pursue a court trial: This option is costly and time-consuming.

Failed divorce mediations show that a flexible and amicable dispute resolution method can still be unsuccessful.

Why mediations break down

The American Journal of Mediation article offers a practical perspective by citing common reasons for an impasse. These reasons include:

  • A mediator proves unfit to be the neutral third party.
  • There is non-commitment to communicate openly among both parties.
  • Missed opportunities to anticipate matters arise leading to mediation failure.

However, even with the best intentions, divorce mediation may not work out. When this happens, your legal resource may direct you to a more traditional litigation process.