Unfortunately, most family law matters can drag out for many years and be very expensive and emotionally draining for a family. Often one spouse will be the cause of the ongoing conflict and refuse to negotiate. What if one spouse is reluctant or refuses to mediate?


Find out why your spouse will not mediate? Most likely it is because your spouse is not ready to move forward. Your spouse may be hurt, angry, and sad. BE PATIENT! Typically, spouses come around, but it might take several weeks to process the news and start to make decisions about the future. The worst thing you could do is run out and serve court documents right away, it will only escalate the conflict. Eventually, your partner will come to the table, simply give them space and time to gather information and deal with their emotions. I have noticed that counseling or coaching may be very helpful at this stage.


Educating your spouse on the mediation process is the best method to help them understand the difference between litigation and mediation. Mediation is a choice, when the options are explained to your partner the choice becomes very clear. Often when folks understand the differences between both processes, it becomes obvious to choose the quicker, cheaper path, even if your spouse is still upset or hurt.


Finances are often a major worry and concern during the mediation process. It may help to offer to pay for the mediation fees or at least the first session. Meeting with a mediator first will pay huge dividends. When given the options, and the ability to see how simple and smart the process is, they usually come around quickly.

Time and Money?

Let your spouse or partner know that the mediation process will save your family time and money. In most cases, clients can work out their agreement in a few sessions without an expensive attorney. Explain to your spouse that each of you will have plenty of time to review the agreement prior to signing. This will be helpful especially if one spouse is reluctant or refuses to mediate.


Contact family law mediator, Dawn Clement at www.clementmediation.com to schedule an online consultation.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.