Most people who are divorcing still get along enough to work through the majority of their divorce-related issues together. They may get most of a separation agreement put together and then feel that they just can’t agree on the last few topics.

In that case, one suggestion may be to go to mediation. For some, mediation is beneficial and allows them to resolve their disputes. For others, mediation isn’t the right fit.

If you have started mediation but aren’t getting anywhere with it, then it may be time to stop the sessions and opt for other dispute-resolution options. 

How do you know when it is time to end mediation?

Mediation typically ends when you come to an agreement or when one person decides to pursue a lawsuit. Mediation is not binding, so most people will go through the sessions and come up with an agreement. Whether or not they agree to it after that point is up to them and their private discussion with their attorney.

Sometimes, ending mediation early is a better option. For example, if your soon-to-be-ex-spouse:

  • Starts arguments
  • Constantly interrupts
  • Refuses to negotiate
  • Doesn’t come to sessions

What if we cannot reach an agreement during mediation?

If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement during mediation, it does not mean that mediation has necessarily failed. Mediation is a voluntary process, and if you decide that it is not productive or suitable for your situation, you can explore other options, such as litigation or collaborative law.

Can I end mediation if I feel uncomfortable or unsafe?

Yes, you have the right to end mediation in Virginia if you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or if you believe that the process is not addressing your concerns adequately. Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance, and you should never continue mediation if you are in an abusive or threatening situation.

Is it possible to switch from mediation to litigation in Virginia?

Yes, if mediation is not producing satisfactory results, you have the option to switch from mediation to litigation in Virginia. Litigation involves resolving disputes through the court system, and you can consult with a family law attorney to understand the necessary steps to transition from mediation to litigation.

Can the mediator end the mediation process?

Yes, the mediator can end the mediation process in Virginia under certain circumstances. If they determine that the process is no longer productive, that it is no longer voluntary, or if there is a violation of the mediator’s ethical standards, they may choose to conclude the mediation.

What if one party wants to end mediation while the other wants to continue

If one party wants to end mediation while the other wants to continue in Virginia, it can create a challenging situation. In such cases, it may be necessary to reassess the goals, interests, and willingness of both parties to participate. If a mutually agreeable resolution cannot be reached, it may be appropriate to explore alternative dispute resolution methods or involve legal representation.

Are there any time limits for mediation?

There are no specific time limits for mediation in Virginia, as the duration can vary depending on the complexity of the issues and the progress made during the sessions. However, it is advisable to discuss expectations and establish a general timeline with the mediator at the beginning of the process.

Mediation can be helpful if it’s given time to work

Mediation can be helpful, but it does take time. Most of the time, going to a few sessions will be enough to get through at least some of the disputes holding your divorce back. If it isn’t working, though, you may want to speak with your attorney about other alternative dispute resolution options.