The word is spreading over coffee cups and in the carpool lane: if you can handle your divorce through a mediator, you’ll avoid a great deal of drama, almost certainly end up with a fair and equitable settlement, and pay a fraction of the cost. But in my practice as a certified divorce mediator, I’ve seen at least six situations that tell me my would-be clients won’t be settling with me. I advise these couples that it’s time to give up the dream of negotiating a simple, low-cost divorce; instead they need lawyers.
Many clients are surprised by the conditions that are not automatically disqualifiers. I regularly work with clients who have mental illness, personality disorders, substance abuse problems, porn addiction, and repeated infidelities. In fact, people with these problems account for a large percentage of my successful divorce mediations. This makes sense considering it is these very issues which are often the cause of the divorce in the first place.
All I need for a successful mediated divorce settlement is a couple who can sit at my conference table, for two or three visits, with a willingness to listen, compromise and with the desire to get through the pain and move on to a happier, better adjusted future.