Courts in some jurisdictions require divorcing spouses to mediate their divorce before they turn to litigation, but mediation does not work for every parting couple.
Like collaborative divorce, mediation depends on the good faith of both partners.
Mediation cannot work when one spouse abuses the other. Intimation by an overpowering partner weakens what a mediator can achieve.
A victim of domestic abuse can formally object to mediation on the ground that it not safe to participate. He or she can ask that the court excuse him or her from mediation. In the extreme, a victim of abuse can file a motion objecting on constitutional grounds – that it denies a party the right to associate with a lawyer.
Or a party could attend mediation but not participate “unless having agreed, preferably in writing, that if the mediation is unsuccessful the mediator will not make any recommendations or communicate anything said in mediation to the court except for threats of violence.”