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What to do if a Spouse Won't Take Part in Mediation in Solana Beach, Ca,

What if a Spouse Won’t Participate in Mediation?

The main objective of divorce mediation is to help couples find ways to agree on issues such as their finances, co-parenting schedules, and division of assets. A mediator is unbiased, and his or her role is to help the parties work out their differences. However, mediation isn’t mandatory in California unless minor children are involved. Take a look at what happens in mediation and what to do if your spouse refuses to participate.

Separate Appointments

Choosing mediation doesn’t mean you have to attend appointments with your spouse. The team at Divorce Options San Diego—experienced San Diego divorce mediators couples can rely on to help them dissolve their marriages in a fair way that’s based on mutual respect—will never require the parties to meet in the same room. You and your spouse will communicate separately with your mediator. The mediator will inform you of the process and allow you to share your views and concerns in private.


Even if a couple has gone through the mediation process and agreed on all the issues, one party may have a change of heart when it’s time to sign the settlement agreement. Both you and your spouse have the legal right to change your minds before signing the settlement agreement. A family court won’t take action against a spouse if he or she doesn’t sign this particular document. Even if both parties verbally commit to the contents of the document, there’s nothing to reverse, stop, or push through unless the settlement agreement is signed.

Mandatory Mediation

If children are involved, mediation may be mandatory under California law. Separating couples must comply with mandatory mediation if it’s ordered by a family court judge. Failing to attend the mediation appointments could result in being charged with contempt of court or other serious consequences. The two parties will discuss their differences separately with a neutral third-party mediator. However, neither party is required to sign an agreement after going through mediation.

Family Court

When one party refuses to show up for appointments, going to family court is the next logical step. Going to court will draw out the divorce process, and attorneys could act maliciously on behalf of their clients, which could convince an uncooperative spouse to change his or her mind and realize that mediation is the best option. If this happens, the couple can avoid the courtroom and find a trustworthy divorce mediator in California who will help them reach an agreement. Once the settlement is signed, it will be sent to the judge, who will make a ruling at a later date.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the expensive, contentious, attorney-centered manner in which divorces are usually handled, call on the trustworthy professionals at Divorce Options San Diego. We’re experienced professionals who are revolutionizing the divorce process with expert San Diego divorce mediation couples can rely on for creative solutions. Give us a call today at (858) 281-2628 to learn more.