What If You Want Mediation And Your Spouse Doesn’t?
What do you do when you really want mediation and your family member — or soon to be ex-spouse — doesn’t?
If your case has already been started in Supreme Court, and you can’t convince your opposing family member of the benefits — such as solving your issues without appearing in court — you can “require” that he or she attends mediation services. You can have him or her served a Notice to Mediate. Time is important, though. The notice must be served between the 90-day period after the Response is filed and 90 days prior to the date set for trial.
Your opposition is now obligated to attend mediation, except in the following situations:
- A family law protection order or a peace bond exists by one of you against the other
- A mediator does not believe that mediation would be an appropriate or productive tool for the two of you and advises the court of such
- You’ve had a previous mediation regarding the issues in dispute
- The court exempts one party from having to participate because of impracticality or unfairness
- You both sign an agreement, confirmed by the mediator, stating that one party does not have to participate in mediation
There is still no guarantee that your opposition will comply; however, if they do not, the court can order them to pay your court or other costs for applying for the mediation.
Mediation, however, is a good tool for most people to use in resolving family disputes. More and more couples and family members are turning to this type of resolution, as it is more friendly, less destructive and less expensive than court. The next step is to find a good mediator.
Attorneys, who provide this service, usually have good, qualified mediators in their firm, and resources to other professionals, such as financial counselors, mental counselors and any other qualified individuals deemed necessary.