Why Mediation May Not Be Appropriate in Your Divorce From an Abusive Spouse

Why Mediation May Not Be Appropriate in Your Divorce From an Abusive Spouse

Divorce can be a challenging and complex process, particularly when it involves an abusive spouse. Mediation, often seen as a solution for amicable separations, may not be appropriate in these circumstances. This article delves into why opting for mediation in the case of an abusive spouse might compromise safety and emotional well-being, highlighting the necessity of considering alternative approaches during such a sensitive and difficult time.

Why Mediation May Not Be Appropriate in Your Divorce: An Overview

If you are a consistent reader of the blog posts from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, then you know that your attorneys are big fans of mediation. Mediation is when two parties to a legal case can attend a formal negotiation session using a mediator to coordinate and communicate settlement offers.

The purpose of mediation is to settle any outstanding issues in your case and avoid spending the time, money, and resources that it takes to go to trial. While not every divorce can be settled in mediation, the majority are.

In southeast Texas, courts in many counties mandate that you attend mediation before requesting a hearing or trial. I have even seen judges who do not believe that enough progress was made in the first mediation session, and as a result, a second was ordered. It’s amazing what getting people into a controlled environment can do for the ability of a case to settle. What may have seemed like insurmountable issues before may now seem within reach of settling?

Mediation may not be appropriate when the other party to your divorce has exerted an inappropriate level of force towards you that has led to an uneven balance of power. For instance, it may not be safe for you to attend a mediation session where your abusive spouse will also be present. While protections can be put in place to keep your divorce and your abusive spouse separated, there are no safeguards that can be 100% effective. Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, will discuss why mediation may not be appropriate or effective in your divorce.

The Reasons Why Your Attorney May Advise You Against Mediating

Why Mediation May Not Be Appropriate in Your Divorce From an Abusive Spouse

Communication Barriers

A fundamental requirement for successful mediation is the ability of both spouses to communicate effectively about crucial issues. Divorce with an abusive spouse often leads to strained communication, making it challenging to find common ground on significant matters.

Inadequate Progress in Communication Skills

Mediation expects both parties to improve their communication skills, even if indirectly. However, if the nature of your relationship prevents you and your spouse from developing these skills, mediation may not be effective.

Concerns Beyond Physical Safety From an Abusive Spouse

Beyond the immediate physical safety concerns, mediation might not be advisable if there’s a history of abuse. Abuse can lead to one spouse exerting undue influence or control over the other, potentially leading to unfair settlement terms driven by fear or intimidation.

The Role of Your Attorney

Your attorney plays a crucial role in preparing for mediation. If they cannot ascertain the opposing party’s stance on key issues before mediation, it might not be a productive session. This is especially true in cases involving abuse, where understanding the abuser’s intentions and opinions is critical.

If mediation seems unfeasible, especially in abuse cases, your attorney might advise against it. Instead, they may suggest filing a motion to waive the typical mediation requirement, citing the specific circumstances of your case. This step ensures that your safety and best interests remain the top priority during the divorce process.

Final Thoughts

Why Mediation May Not Be Appropriate in Your Divorce From an Abusive Spouse

We will conclude our series of blog posts on abuse and divorce by discussing topics related to the final orders of divorce in Texas– the Final Decree of Divorce. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding today’s blog post or any other topic in family law, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations with one of our licensed family law attorneys six days a week. We can answer your questions and talk with you about the services we can provide to you and your family as clients of ours.

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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