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I Want Divorce Mediation but My Soon to Be Ex Doesn't

October 12, 2020

You and your spouse have agreed to divorce but not on how to get there. You want divorce mediation but they remain unconvinced that it is the best choice. How do you move forward with the divorce? 

The answer depends on WHY they are hesitant about mediation, IF they can be transparent and WHETHER they are willing to compromise. 

We’ll explore each of these factors and provide advice based on your answers to the questions below. 

Why Are They Hesitant About Mediation?

Scenario 1: They’re unfamiliar with the process. 

Scenario 2: They’re angry and don’t want to do what you’ve selected. Angry people want to win and hurt the other person in the process.  

Scenario 3: They want a DIY divorce to save money paying a mediator or an attorney. 

Scenario 1: They’re unfamiliar with the process. 

It is actually pretty common to be unfamiliar with divorce mediation. After all, we’ve grown up on a TV diet where we’re served images of hard-nosed attorneys going head to head, saying things like “Not on my watch” and “We’re going to make them pay!” and we resign to the fact that divorce attorneys exist for a reason. If you didn’t need them, why would they even practice that kind of law, right? 

There are many ways to familiarize someone with divorce mediation. One way is to find a friend or friend of a friend who has used a divorce mediator and ask them if they’d be willing to talk about their experience.  Another way is to ask your spouse to call a divorce mediator who offers a free consultation and come prepared with questions. You can also learn a lot by reading articles and watching videos. We’ve written about the different divorce options in Colorado and have videos about divorce mediation that can help. 

Divorce Mediation Overview

The 50,000 foot view is this: Divorce mediation works when spouses can work well together. Each spouse agrees to fully disclose their finances and work towards an agreement about property, parenting plans and what they want their post-divorce lives to look like. Your mediator is a neutral, third party who helps both of you come to consensus and stay out of the courts and avoid costly legal battles. Divorce mediation may also involve financial experts, therapists and divorce coaches. At DRCC, our team members hold the following titles: CDFA, Certified Divorce Financial Analysts, Psychotherapist, Mediator and Divorce Coach. We’ve got you covered!

Scenario 2: They’re angry and want an attorney.

To them, an attorney = they come out ahead. After all, divorce attorneys charge $350-$600/hour so they will work hard to make sure your spouse prevails. In a scenario like this, you and your soon to be ex may need to work with a therapist, together or separately or both to help resolve these feelings before proceeding with the divorce. This is not about “striking while the iron is hot” but “waiting until cooler heads prevail.” Angry people don’t make the best decisions and hiring an expensive attorney and dragging your personal affairs into a courtroom will = more conflict which = more money spent.

One exception is if the spouse who is angry is also abusive. Divorce mediation is not suited to a dynamic where one party has and wants to exert control. A collaborative divorce or traditional divorce would better serve you both. 

Scenario 3: They think they can DIY divorce.

Blame it on Pinterest or HGTV, but many people think they can cobble together a table, so why not a divorce? A DIY divorce CAN work if you do not have any children and few assets. Filing your own divorce CAN work for cooperative parties who have come to a consensus about what to do about x, y, and z; and their only difficulty is navigating the paperwork.

We have worked with couples whose situation seemed suited to a DIY divorce but later issues arose and they needed a third party to flesh out issues and make the agreements enforceable.

Hiring an attorney is not only costly due to their high hourly rate but also because of the length of the average Colorado divorce of 6-12 months, and that’s if you don't go to court. The DRCC works with couples who are motivated to complete the process in a limited number of mediation sessions. When you schedule your initial consultation and ultimately decide to hire us, we can apply the cost of the initial consultation to your account. 

Our divorce mediation services are designed for couples who want peaceful resolutions and value transparency. If this describes your situation, divorce mediation may be the best pathway to your post-divorce life.  Remember, the marriage may be over but the family goes on!

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At Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado, we have a team of seasoned Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) who provide a cost-effective, respectful mediation process that allows couples and families to rebuild a secure post-divorce future.
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