There are generally two main approaches to modern Florida divorce proceedings. Couples can cooperate for an uncontested filing in which they agree to specific property division and parenting terms, or they can litigate and have a judge determine what would be appropriate.
The average couple would likely prefer to avoid major expenses during a divorce and to limit how much they have to share in open court about their marriage. Still, they may currently disagree on certain important matters and believe that their only option is to litigate. Particularly when people have intense emotional reactions to certain issues, like who spends the holidays with the children this year or keeps the family home, the level of conflict can rapidly increase and leave people believing that litigation is the only option.
Mediation is a tool that people use to settle disagreements about marital issues for an uncontested divorce. Can divorce mediation work in high conflict situations?
Yes, mediation can work in high-conflict scenarios
The idea of two people embroiled in a messy and emotional divorce cooperating may seem unrealistic, but the truth is that divorcing spouses typically have certain objectives that align. Provided that they can find ways to compromise on the matters on which they currently disagree, they could move forward with an uncontested divorce and start rebuilding their lives that much more quickly.
It’s common for people to assume that mediation is only an option in scenarios where disagreements are mild. However, research shows that mediation is a viable option even in cases where spouses can barely tolerate seeing one another. Federal research has indicated that shuttle mediation, where the mediator moves back and forth between parties instead of having everybody in the same room, can work even in scenarios involving domestic violence.
Provided that both spouses can commit to working with each other and recognize that compromising on some matters in mediation may be better than turning everything over to a judge during litigation, mediation can work for those in even relatively hostile circumstances. Successful mediation will give people control over the final terms of their divorce and can help protect their privacy.
Understanding when mediation is a viable option could help people better prepare to secure a fair divorce settlement in whatever way is best for their circumstances.