Mediation is often lauded as the simple and straightforward alternative to litigation-based divorce. But is this true? While alternative dispute resolution can prove incredibly valuable in certain contexts, it’s far more complex than most divorcing spouses suspect. The following five perspectives will give you a better feel for the mediation process and what it can accomplish:
1. When Divorce Mediation Is Used As a Stall Tactic
Mediation is not ideal in all situations. Participants who are resistant to change may use this approach in hopes of stalling their divorce, as explained in this blog by Dr. Reena Sommer. She is committed to “[weeding] out the divorcing couples who are not appropriate candidates for divorce mediation and [expediting] those divorce and custody cases through the litigation process without unnecessary delays.”
2. The Future of Mediation: Teens and Technology
Mediation has evolved considerably in recent years, and Sandra Untrojb anticipates even more upheaval in the near future. She believes that the teens of today will, as adults, “rely on technological elements that complement the daily life of every day of their lives” — including mediation.
3. The New Frontier of Online Dispute Resolution: Online Divorce Mediation
Loïc E. Coutelier takes Sandra Untrojb’s argument to the next level, arguing that the future of alternative dispute resolution is largely online. Coutelier believes this approach is preferable because it “is possible to put a new message ‘on hold’ if it contains incendiary claims or language — something an attorney could not do in person.”
4. Breaking Up Is Hard Enough to Do
Typically, the less powerful spouse in an abusive marriage is told to avoid mediation at all costs, as he or she could end up on the wrong side of a mediation-based power play. Mary Adkins and many others disagree, claiming that in denying mediation to battered spouses, we do them a huge disservice. In this Slate opinion piece, Adkins explains, “Shielding victims from mediation is likely hurting rather than helping. It’s time to let them into the room.”
5. Emery’s Divorce Mediation Study
Over the course of twelve years, expert Robert E. Emergy examined the long-term effects of mediation. His study involved randomly assigning high-conflict families to mediation or adversarial divorce and monitoring everything from case settlement to contact with children years later. This study offers valuable insight into the role even unsuccessful mediation can play in parenting outcomes.
If you’re interested in learning more about divorce mediation in Washington, D.C., feel free to turn to DiPietro Family Law Group for insight.