Many couples consider divorce mediation as the optimal way to end a marriage. While there are likely still feelings between the spouses, they are still on friendly terms and want to figure out how the next stage of their lives is going to work--including planning for the children, splitting the house, and sharing retirement funds.

Four Things Couples Should Have in Common Before Attempting Divorce Mediation

While mediation can give you and your spouse the greatest amount of control over what happens to your children and assets after your marriage, some Seattle couples are not well-suited to this kind of divorce. You and your spouse should only consider mediation if:

  • You and your spouse are not hoping to reconcile. Both spouses must be emotionally ready to end the marriage in order for mediation to be effective. If one of you is holding out hope that you will eventually be back together or is still trying to make the other happy, you may be tempted to give away all of your assets to your spouse as a gesture of goodwill—and you will not be able to reverse this action if the two of you remain separated.
  • You do not blame your spouse. Partners who feel that they have been betrayed or treated badly in the months or years leading to divorce may not be in a position to accept fair treatment in mediation. Wronged spouses may feel that they are owed more than their fair share of property or custody because of the burden they have suffered, or may be openly hostile and uncompromising during proceedings.
  • You have mutually agreed to end the marriage. The best candidates for divorce are spouses who have made the decision together that their marriage is over, instead of one partner making the decision to divorce without the other’s approval. When partners have both come to the mature conclusion that divorce is the viable solution, they are likely to see eye-to-eye on other decisions as well.
  • Both of you understand the family finances. In many marriages, one person is more adept at handling the paychecks and bills than the other. The partner who handles the bookkeeping may be at a significant advantage over the other partner, so it is important that both spouses have a basic working knowledge of all of the assets in the marriage.

No matter which method of divorce you and your spouse choose, you should learn as much as you can about the process before making your separation final. Read through our free divorce guide for women in Washington, or click the contact link above to get answers to your questions in a private consultation.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington