Mediation Can Sometimes Fail. Why?

Despite all the advantages of mediation, experience has shown that there are at least three major reasons why the process fails. If you are aware of these pitfalls and can avoid them, your mediation experience has a high chance of being successful.

Keeping Secrets

Something either hidden and later discovered, usually having to do with finances, or something not disclosed until later in the process can cause the mediation to fall apart. Unknown bank accounts or other secret assets increase distrust between the parties. Therefore, share everything up front.

Unreasonable Expectations

Parties who take rigid positions and are unwilling to compromise can cause a breakdown in the process. Even though this is a very emotional time for each person, you need to be realistic and recognize that you have to give to receive. You need to stop thinking in terms of “equal” and “fair” and think about what will “work.” The best agreement occurs when both parties walk away unhappy.

Financial Ignorance

Dividing one household into two on the same income will have a dramatic if sometimes devastating impact on the finances in both. Many couples fail to recognize the reality of this event. One should seriously consider the impact of no change in income but doubling of most major expenses. If you are prepared for the reality of 2 rents, 2 sets of utilities and separate insurance policies to cite only a few of the new realities, there will not be shock and dismay when discussing finances.

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