Divorce can be a difficult, expensive, and lengthy process, which is why divorce mediation is a good option for couples to avoid dragging things out. Not only is diovorce mediation less likely to produce animosity, it is often much less expensive and time-intensive.
But… even if you want to mediate your divorce, you spouse needs to want to mediate your divorce, too. So, how do you get your spouse to try it?
From Mediation Northwest mediator Julie Gentili, here’s what you need to know about getting your spouse to agree to an Oregon divorce mediation.
Why Doesn’t My Spouse Want to Try Divorce Mediation?
There are many reasons why one may be hesitant to use divorce mediation.
Here are the most common arguments our team at Mediation Northwest hears:
- They don’t understand what divorce mediation is—Most people don’t even know divorce mediation exists. So, you need to educate them about the process, including the role of the mediator (a neutral conflict resolution professional), that both parties are equally in control of the outcome (i.e. an outcome can’t be forced upon you), and that the mediator’s job it is to guide everyone to a fair result. Divorce mediation sidesteps the “burn it to the ground” attitude of traditional divorce.
- They are angry—Your spouse may fully understand that your marriage is over, but they are so furious or hurt that they refuse to cooperate. You may want to try couples counseling prior to divorce mediation in an effort to work out the issues. Then, patience is your friend. The average litigated divorce is 16 months. The average mediated divorce is 4 months. So, you can easily wait for the anger to subside and then engage in mediation and still be finished before a litigated divorce.
- They’re afraid they aren’t legally protected—Divorce mediation (done properly) creates a legally binding contract.
- They’re scared—If they want an attorney to fight for them because they don’t know what to ask for, they can always hire an attorney to advise them throughout the mediation process and to review the mediated agreement before they sign it; and in the end, if they don’t like their mediated agreement, nothing requires that they sign it. If divorce mediation fails (which only happens about once every two years in our office), they can always hire an attorney and litigate your divorce.
How to Convince Your Spouse to try Divorce Mediation in Oregon
If it’s turning into a hard sell to get your partner to agree to divorce mediation, you may want to try some of these strategies:
- Enlist a friend—If you know a friend or family member who has gone through divorce mediation, you may want them to talk to your spouse. On the flip side, if you know someone who has had to endure a painful and nasty divorce, ask them to try to convince your spouse that divorce mediation is a much better solution.
- Pay for the mediation—Few people can resist something that is totally free. You may not feel that this is fair to you, but if you want out of your marriage, this could be a worthwhile compromise. (It’s also important to note that divorce mediation is only a fraction of the cost of a traditional divorce.)
- It is court-mandated—Explain that if you have kids, Oregon courts will require you go through parenting time mediation, so why not use one mediator for the entire divorce?!
Contact Mediation Northwest today
Divorce mediation isn’t a magical solution to all of your divorce issues. There is still likely to be some conflicts that hopefully you can work out with the help of the mediator. But if both of you are willing to compromise and committed to making divorce as smooth as possible, divorce mediation will save you time and money.
If you are ready to end your marriage on the best terms possible, come talk to us at Mediation Northwest. We have years of experience helping Oregon couples find divorce solutions that work best for everyone, and we’re ready to help you get started. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.