As opposed to divorce litigation, mediation is meant to be a more peaceful and cooperative process where two divorcing spouses work out their issues and negotiate various aspects of their dissolution. However, many spouses see it as a way control the process, if only to delay proceedings.
In 2019, the average divorce process lasted 84 weeks to get to the final hearing. Post-COVID-19 pandemic, with courts shutdown, the backlog is even longer.
Putting off the inevitable
Even before mediation starts, a spouse may look at the list of potential mediators and find something wrong with each and every one of them. One of the spouses having any connection to the legal profession could be looked upon with suspicion.
Delay tactics are sadly a common tactic employed by disgruntled spouses, whether it involves mediation or litigation process. They include:
- Continually canceling or rescheduling mediation or divorce proceedings
- Avoiding process servers by refusing to answer their door or phone calls
- Filing frivolous motions
- Putting off responses for discovery
- Continually changing attorneys
- Refusing to sign finalized divorce paperwork
In the end, these aggravating postponements could represent an outright unwillingness to mediate, let alone end a marriage. At some point, the more cooperative spouse may need to explore the option of divorce litigation to put an end to a soon-to-be ex-partner delaying the inevitable.
Ending a marriage is difficult enough without having a spouse putting up non-stop obstacles. Retaining a skilled family law attorney can help to speed up the process and take the first step towards a new chapter of life.