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Sharon Easley
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How can you tell if mediation isn't going well?

If you and your spouse have decided to go through mediation instead of handling your divorce through litigation, congratulations. You have chosen a method of divorce that is statistically more positive, civil and mutually agreeable than traditional divorce in a courtroom. However, with little or no experience in this type of law, you may understandably have many questions about what to expect.

As much as you hope to maintain your dignity and arrive at a reasonable and fair settlement, you may worry that your current relationship with your spouse makes it more likely that your mediation sessions will end in nonproductive bickering. But does this mean that mediation is failing? How can you tell if the process is not working, and when might it be time to give up and head to court after all?

Not as bad as you think

Committing to mediation as a form of dispute resolution can be a little frightening. There is no judge in the room and no one to make the decisions for you if you and your spouse reach a stalemate. However, this is also one of the factors that draws divorcing couples to mediation. Having complete control over the process means not having to accept decisions from a judge who does not know your situation.

Still, you may feel that you are the one doing all the compromising and that your spouse is getting his or her way in every decision. It may seem that mediation isn't working for you if your and your spouse spend time in every meeting raising your voices at each other. However, this is quite normal. It is important to have realistic expectations about what will happen during your negotiations. You may argue, but as long as you are making progress, your mediation may be going successfully.

Keeping things under control

If your goal is to reach a peaceful and workable settlement, it may be perfectly fine if you are compromising on some points. However, the following may be signs that your mediation is heading in a negative direction:

  • Going in circles over the same topics
  • Spending hours negotiating without reaching a single resolution
  • Facing continued personal attacks from your ex
  • Diverting the conversation to topics that do not involve the issues on the table

A skilled Texas mediator can guide you through these roadblocks or stop any distractions before they derail the process. If you are thinking about using mediation for your divorce, it is important to have an experienced mediator that both you and your spouse can agree upon.

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