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When might divorce mediation be inappropriate?

Nearly every couple facing divorce wants to do so without a lot of drama. They want to keep their costs low and their heads down, and get through the process in the most amicable way possible, especially if they have kids. For these reasons alone, mediation is an attractive alternative to the traditional courtroom divorce, and it may be the first thing more couples consider now.

Unfortunately, some couples' relationships are so toxic or volatile that they cannot and should not attempt to resolve their divorce issues outside of a courtroom. Some Redwood City residents need the protection of the court while others need its power to help them. If you are unsure whether you should even attempt mediation, you may want to review the family situations below that make it a bad idea.

Is your divorce not a candidate for mediation?

If your relationship involves one of the circumstances below, mediation may not be an option for you:

  • If your spouse doesn't even want to acknowledge that you want a divorce and intends to fight your wish for one, then mediation isn't a viable option.
  • If the other party is not able to have an honest conversation and hides behind lies, it's pretty much a non-starter for mediation.
  • If you believe your spouse is attempting to hide money and/or marital assets, you probably need the power of the court behind you in order to discover the truth and locate the assets.
  • If your spouse fights you at every turn and is not willing to even entertain a compromise on any issue, then mediation will not work.
  • If there are allegations of child abuse, mediation cannot happen since mediators must report any such allegations, even if they are ultimately unfounded.
  • If there is any domestic abuse, mediation will more than likely not work since the parties will not be on an even playing field.

You need to know that you should not feel bad that you don't have the opportunity to use mediation in your divorce. The courts are there to help couples who need them. Your physical safety and/or financial security are at stake, and you shouldn't have to give those up because you feel you are "supposed to" mediate your divorce.

Only you can properly assess your situation, so you shouldn't let well-meaning friends and family make you feel as though there is something wrong if you need to take your case to a California court.

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The Law Offices of Oliver R. Gutierrez
600 Allerton St., Suite 200
Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone: 650-399-0962
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