What if You Can’t Get Your Spouse to Come to Divorce Mediation?

Is Your Spouse Ready to Come to Divorce Mediation?

Suffolk County Divorce Mediation Long Island NY
Dr. Diane Kramer, Mediator/Psychologist

People call us all the time at the Long Island Center for Divorce Mediation, Suffolk County NY saying they want a divorce. These individuals say they would rather do divorce mediation than divorce litigation. They say they are ready to move forward. I say: Does your spouse know you want a divorce? Has your spouse agreed to go forward with a divorce?

About 40% of the time, the person who has called me says “Yes, my spouse has agreed to go forward with a divorce and has asked me to find a divorce mediator. We are ready.

The rest of the time, about 60% of the time, the person says: “I haven’t talked to him or her yet, but I have been wanting to do this for a long time.” Then these individuals usually tell me how their spouse is abusive or an addict or out of work for years.

The first group of people – the 40% – make an appointment to come in for a free divorce mediation consultation, or to start the first mediation session. Both spouses are ready to begin the process. Both spouses have decided that it is better for them to mediate their divorce than to fight it out through divorce litigation. This group starts divorce mediation with us as their mediators. We guide them through the issues. They reach settlements. Then Fred, our lawyer, writes up the Stipulation of Settlement (the contract between the spouses) and the Divorce Papers. They are submitted to the Judge and around six months later, the couple is divorced.

What about the 60%, where one spouse is all ready for the divorce but the second is not. What happens? Do they come to mediation? Do they go to litigation? Do they stay together?

It is our best guesstimate at the Long Island Center for Divorce Mediation that that 60% divides into 1/3 eventually come to mediation, 1/3 go to litigation and 1/3 find a way to stay together.

Lets play this out:

First the 1/3 that come to Divorce Mediation at the Long Island Center – these are the individuals who have really decided they want a divorce. They talk to their spouse and the other either also wants a divorce, or realizes that he or she cannot stop the divorce. (In New York State, we have no-fault divorce. If one spouse wants a divorce, they get it. Grounds do not have to be proven anymore.)

In this case, the other spouse comes to mediation because they know divorce is inevitable. They know or are told that if they don’t come to mediation, their spouse will start an expensive litigation case. These spouses would rather save the money.

What about the 1/3 that go to Divorce Litigation? That don’t want to come to Divorce Mediation? We believe these spouses tell their mates that they want to divorce. These spouses suggest going to mediation. The other spouse simply refuses. Finally out of desperation to get free, this 1/3 hires a separate lawyer and starts the litigation process.

The last 1/3 – These are the spouses who neither come to Divorce Mediation or go to Divorce Litigation. What happens to them? The first spouse tells the other that she or he wants a divorce. That is a wake-up call to the other spouse. Some change then occurs in the relationship. The spouses may even go to marital therapy to see what they can work out.

So in conclusion, the spouse leading the way to divorce can bring their mate to mediation, which is far less stressful, less expensive and faster. Or they can start a litigation case, more struggle and expense for both and for the family. And finally, the call for divorce can lead to a revitalization of the marriage.

If you are ready and want to learn more about or come to Divorce Mediation, please call for a Free Consultation at 631-757-1553.

About mediation at the Long Island Center for Divorce Mediation – We have been doing divorce mediation for 25 years. Fred is our mediator / divorce lawyer who keeps updated on all the divorce laws and what will happen if you go to courts. I am a mediator and psychologist. I give lots of support and help with figuring out how to deal with the children. Together we are your mediation team. Not one of our agreements has ever been overturned in the courts. And 98% of our mediations complete.