When Not to Attend Mediation

Mediation in Utah divorces is not only mandatory, it’s a really good idea.

You would be amazed at how mediation can bring people together to discuss and negotiate. It’s not a perfect system, by any means, but, for the vast majority of people, it works out much better than going to court.

But this post isn’t about how successful mediation is. Instead, it’s about when you should not attend mediation.

Yes, that’s right, there are times when you shouldn’t attend mediation. I tend to think these situations are pretty limited, but they do exist. So, let’s discuss a few.

  •    When you’re emotionally compromised. If a close family member just passed, or you just had a baby, or your spouse recently abused you, you should not attend mediation. You will negotiate better and think clearer after have had time to process and recover. Give yourself that time.
  •    When you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I know this might be difficult to admit, but if got nervous about mediation and drank too much (a not uncommon experience), tell your attorney. It’s much better to reschedule than it is to agree to something life-changing when you shouldn’t even be driving. (By the way, this goes for prescription medications too. If you’re prescription has made you loopy or out of it, tell your attorney.)
  •    When there has been a long history of domestic violence. There are sometimes when there is a such a power differential between a husband and wife that mediation just can’t work. A long history of repeated domestic violence is one of those sometimes. Some people simply cannot negotiate with their abuser, and that’s okay. If you can’t, let your attorney know and talk it out.

Now, there are other situations in which mediation might not be advisable, but I wanted to limit this discussion to the most common three.

If you find yourself in any of the situations discussed, please, talk with your attorney. Don’t just not show up to mediation. That’s pretty counterproductive to your relationship with your attorney. Be open and honest about things.

Published On: April 25th, 2016Categories: MediationComments Off on When Not to Attend Mediation
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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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