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Couples in California may pursue divorce through either litigation in the courts or mediation with a mediator. Though there are many ways that mediation can facilitate successful divorces for some people, not every couple is well-suited for the mediation process. There are a host of reasons that may prevent divorcing couples from successfully ending their marriages through mediation, and this blog post will explore only a few of them.

To begin, mediation may not be useful or even possible if one or more of the parties to the divorce will not negotiate matters in good faith. Putting forth good faith in divorce negotiations can include but is not limited to providing honest information about property values, recognizing the other party’s rights regarding matters related to children, and others. If the parties cannot communicate with honesty and integrity, mediation may not work for them.

Additionally, mediation may not be effective if one party to a divorce is scared of or intimidated by the other party. Fear may prevent an individual from advocating for his or her rights in a divorce; since there is no judge ruling on divorce-related matters in a mediation negotiation, one party may be intimidated out of getting what he or she wants in the process.

Finally, though it may not be the case for all couples, some divorcing partners may not be able to effectively separate their money and property in a mediated setting. Those parties may prefer the support of lawyers and court resources when it comes to dividing up the wealth and assets they amassed during their marriage.

While mediation offers couples a change to talk through issues, it is not always the best venue for those who cannot openly and effectively communicate. Unlike a judge, a mediator cannot make decisions for a couple and as such if the partners going through the divorce cannot work through their issues, their marital dissolution may not come into fruition. Litigation is always an option for those people who cannot make mediation work for their divorces.