Partner Refusing to Attend Mediation - Marcia Mediation

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Often in divorce cases, one party thinks that if they dig in their heels, the problem will just go away. They may do this in a variety of different ways – including a partner refusing to attend mediation.

Before we look at the ways to progress from this position, it’s worth understanding a few things about mediation in family law cases such as divorce.

  • Mediation is voluntary. Nobody can force you to speak to a mediator or to attend mediation sessions.
  • However, a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is mandatory before a divorce can go to court.
  • Also, mediators are independent from both spouses and are here to help make progress in a positive way.

Together, these three basic facts mean that in any divorce, both partners should attend an MIAM – even if you do it separately and/or by telephone – and should seriously consider the benefits of choosing to use a divorce mediator.

Getting past a partner who won’t go to mediation

Whatever your reason for divorcing, both partners have a voice and are free to make certain decisions, including whether or not to divorce via mediation or via the courts.

Either way, you will have to attend an MIAM. If you’re reluctant to make use of divorce mediators, this meeting could change your mind as it’s your chance to ask questions and find out more about the benefits of mediation in divorce.

The mediator is not on anybody’s ‘side’, but serves as an independent third party to listen and facilitate talks and progress – even in acrimonious divorce proceedings.

So if you or your partner is finding the divorce process emotional or stressful, a mediator can help to put things into perspective and find the positive ways to proceed.

Why change your mind about mediation?

Speaking to a mediator – rather than to a spouse you are in the process of divorcing – can cut through a lot of the stress and negative emotion and help you to see things more clearly.

Mediation aims to be quick and painless, while ensuring all the important issues are discussed. It can also be much less costly than court action and solicitors’ fees, leaving you with more money in the bank to start your new lifestyle.

The initial MIAM is mandatory, so you have nothing to lose. But choosing to stick with a mediator throughout the process can help you to divorce with dignity, even when your relationship has broken down due to arguments or a lack of communication, so it’s worth giving it a chance to get things done so everybody can move on with the rest of their lives.