What happens if the mediation of your complex divorce case fails?

Many couples turn to mediation when they divorce to help them settle complicated issues involving child custody, support, alimony and the division of high-value assets.

What happens, however, if mediation doesn’t go as you’d hoped?

Mediators are often therapists, attorneys, or retired judges specially trained to allow each party to share their points of view and identify common ground that can help move them toward a compromise. They aren’t miracle workers, though.

One of the reasons why divorcing couples are often so reticent to pursue mediation is because they wonder what will happen if the mediation falls apart and they can’t come to any final agreements.

Mediation isn’t an “all-or-nothing” situation

Sometimes mediation is successful and every issue will be ironed out. An agreement can then quickly be written up and the divorce settled fairly easily.

When that doesn’t happen, however, a couple can still pursue litigation over any unresolved issues — whether that’s one or two sticking points or the entire case. If your mediation falls apart, you are not bound to continue down that road. You can revert to a traditional approach to your divorce, instead.

When do mediated agreements become enforceable?

Your mediator will present any agreements that you two reach and sign off on during mediation to the judge presiding over your case. They will become legally-binding once a judge signs off on them. You’ll have to pursue a modification of those agreed-to terms just like you would with any details contained in the divorce decree if you become unhappy with what it says down the line.

Deciding if mediation is right for your situation

Divorce discussions tend to get heated the more money that’s at stake. Don’t let your fear of not compromising impact your decision to pursue mediation in your Massachusetts case. Let a high net worth divorce attorney who also is a trained mediator help you try and resolve your lingering legal issues as efficiently as possible here in Lexington.


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