Many couples who decide divorce is their only option try alternative methods like divorce mediation. While this often helps people to settle all matters of concern quickly, others may struggle to reach an agreement. If mediation doesn’t bring a complete resolution, these are other alternatives to litigation.
Try mediation again
In many cases, divorce mediation that isn’t wholly successful the first time around can be fully resolved with a second attempt. Depending on the situation and how you and your spouse feel about the mediator who helped you during the first go, you can use them again or start fresh; perhaps a new mediator would make things easier. This third party should be equipped to handle any matter that you and your spouse have trouble resolving.
Collaborative divorce is similar to divorce mediation, but instead of meeting with a neutral mediator, you and your spouse have legal representation. You each meet separately with your respective attorneys to discuss the issues of concern before all of you hold a formal meeting. Both of your attorneys sign an agreement stating that if you cannot resolve everything, they will withdraw from your case and your divorce will proceed to court. You and your spouse have new attorneys once you go to court.
Arbitration might work if mediation fails to settle everything in your divorce. Instead of court, you meet with an arbitrator who hears your case and makes a decision. This party is different from a neutral mediator who can only make suggestions and help you negotiate; an arbitrator can make a legally binding decision in your divorce.
Go to trial
If all else fails and you and your spouse cannot settle every matter related to your divorce, you might have no choice but to go to court for a trial. A judge will hear both of your sides of the situation and make a judgment. However, if you choose this route, it should only be your last resort.
Persistence pays off even when mediation can’t initially bring a full resolution. You might be able to an agreement if you give it more time.