As we began discussing last week on our blog, Dayton residents may find that mediation provides some advantages over the traditional process (i.e., litigation) of ending a marriage. It can help ease tensions and lay the groundwork for a better co-parenting relationship post-divorce; it can also save money and produce an agreement more likely to endure over the long term.

However, divorce mediation is not designed for every situation. In order to be successful, there must be open communication and trust between the partners, and an ability to negotiate. Sometimes emotions are simply too high, resentment has become toxic or there is a history of betrayal by one or both partners. A mediator cannot force a settlement upon a couple, and in these scenarios it may require litigation to resolve the issues necessary to complete the divorce.

Domestic violence is also a particular concern in mediation. While it doesn’t necessary eliminate the possibility, a victim should communicate to the mediator (and to his or her attorney) that this is occurring. Mediation may be conducted with the parties in separate rooms to help ensure a sense of safety and freedom to speak openly. They may even hold sessions from separate locations via teleconference.

It’s ultimately possible for mediation to succeed in resolving some issues – property division, for example – while others like child custody will require a court ruling. A family law professional can assist at all stages, from mediation to partial or full settlement and even into court if need be. This information is not intended as specific legal advice, but just as a general background on divorce mediation for Dayton residents.