It is not necessary for spouses to get along for divorce mediation to be successful. The first and most important ingredient in any divorce mediation is a shared desire by both spouses to avoid the litigation process. From this single shared goal flows a series of shared interests and desires that are often obscured by high emotions, anger or anxiety. Part of the mediator’s job is to aid spouses in recognizing their shared interest and prioritizing these interests over secondary feelings such as anger, betrayal or sadness.
To be clear, a mediation cannot ultimately be successful if the feelings of hostility and anger between spouses are so powerful that the negative emotions overwhelm a couple’s ability to reach common ground and mutual understanding. However, a significant part of the mediation process centers on processing negative emotions by helping each spouse prioritize his or her emotions in the larger context of a divorce. So long as there is an agreement to mediate, a successful mediation is possible.