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Warning signs that mediation won't work in a New Jersey divorce

Many couples in New Jersey may find that mediation is a great solution for a pending divorce. Mediation offers a host of benefits to couples, not the least of which is that it remains private, moves quickly and allows more control over the final outcome than a standard divorce.

However, just because mediation can work very well in certain situations does not mean it's right for every situation. Every divorce is inherently unique, and you should carefully consider if mediation is right for you before attempting to go through the process. There are several warning signs that make it clear that mediation is not the right option for your divorce.

Your marriage involved physical or emotional abuse

Mediation requires that both spouses compromise and work together to find solutions to the outstanding issues from their marriage. The empathy and compromise required for successful mediation will likely be well outside of the capabilities of an abusive spouse.

Someone who engages in physical or emotional abuse very likely does not have respect for their spouse. He or she may not be willing to give up anything in order to resolve the divorce amicably. If abuse was a factor in your marriage, you will probably need to go to court.

You have an unhealthy relationship with your spouse

Dynamics vary from couple to couple, but certain forms of relationships are never healthy. If you and your spouse are codependent or if you still idolize your spouse, those can be signs that you won't succeed in mediation.

You need to be willing to compromise, but you also have to be willing to stick up for yourself and push back against what your spouse asks for. If you have a dynamic to your relationship that disempowers you, mediation could heavily favor your spouse. Court will likely be the better option in this case.

You and your spouse both want to "win" in the divorce

Divorce isn't a contest, but many people view it that way. People often use both asset division and child custody as the basis for a protracted battle against their ex. When both spouses want to punish each other or desire validation by "winning" certain things in a divorce, mediation probably won't work.

The whole point of mediation is to find mutually agreeable solutions that produce a fair and reasonable outcome to your divorce. If you're hoping for something that penalizes your spouse, that's a strong warning sign that mediation isn't the right choice for you.

Barring any of these three scenarios, however, mediation can be a faster and more empowering solution for divorcing couples. Even if you can barely stand to be in the same room as your spouse, it is possible to make mediation work if you can compromise and stand up for yourself.

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