Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Divorce mediation when dealing with a high-conflict personality

Getting a divorce can be rough in more ways than one. When dealing with a spouse who has a high-conflict personality, one may think that litigation is the only way in which a final agreement will be reached. However, those in Massachusetts in such situations may still be able to use divorce mediation in order to complete the process.

Divorce will either bring out the good in each spouse or it will bring out the bad. If dealing with a spouse with a high-conflict personality, one is likely to see a lot more bad than good. This certainly does not make this already difficult thing any easier to get through so that each party can just move forward.

Divorce mediation seems like it is only good for couples who are able to calmly negotiate fair and balanced terms. The truth is, however, that plenty of couples fight throughout the mediation process. Having a skilled mediator who is able to structure meetings and refocus the discussions is key to making the process work successfully.

Does divorce mediation always work when dealing with a high-conflict spouse? No. Sometimes litigation is the only way to get through the dissolution process. However, those in Massachusetts cannot rule out mediation before it is even tried. By having a legal representative at one's side and legal strategies prepared, it is certainly possible to use alternative methods to the divorce process -- such as mediation -- in order to achieve a settlement with which both parties, ultimately, feel is fair.

Source:, "Toxic Divorce? Forget the Hazmat Suit and Do This Instead", Bari Zell Weinberger, Sept. 20, 2017

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