Usually the person who wants to get divorced is eager to continue the process and presses the more reluctant spouse to make another mediation appointment. At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we have seen clients be more than 90% done, decisions made, and then, one party refuses to return to address that remaining few issues, that last 10%. So, what recourse does a person have?
Unfortunately, in divorce mediation not much. You can wait and cross your fingers that the reluctant spouse changes his/her mind and resumes mediation. Divorce mediation requires both parties to participate in the process. It moves faster, is more amicable and costs significantly less than litigation because both spouses are in the same room, directly speaking with one another about all the issues, making decisions about their new futures. And it is voluntary. You cannot force your spouse to participate. One recourse the person has, and not to be a jerk but just to move the process forward, is to file the divorce proceedings with the court and serve your reluctant spouse with divorce paperwork. Once your spouse is served s/he has a time limit to respond. This will either gently prod him/her to return to mediation to finish up addressing the few remaining issues or hash it out in court. Either way, resolutions will be reached and a divorce will be finalized. Hopefully, s/he can still see that mediation has worked and can continue to work until the end and s/he will return to mediation. But s/he may need that nudge of filing to move along the process.
To learn more about divorce and divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M. Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.