If you're getting a divorce, you might be reading online about how litigation isn't the only way to secure a divorce, and that you can get the job done through alternative dispute resolution with less stress and less impact to your wallet. That may be true for some people. But not every relationship is the same, and in some circumstances it may in fact be better to go the traditional litigation route, either through settlement or by taking things to court.
If there is history of domestic violence in a relationship, it's unlikely that mediation or arbitration will be appropriate. In abusive dynamics, generally one party will intimidate and bully the other, and this dynamic will not change when you come together in a room to resolve your divorce.
While abuse may represent one variation of a power imbalance, there can be others. For example, if one member of the couple worked and made all the money while the other stayed home to take care of the house or tend to children, this can set up a dynamic where the partner who was not the breadwinner feels at a disadvantage going into mediation.
One party doesn't want the divorce
If you are the one who wants the divorce, and your partner does not want it, convincing your spouse to go to mediation or arbitration may just lead you in circles. It's hard to engage someone in a voluntary process if they don't want to be there in the first place.
Whether you end up fighting over property, retirement funds, stocks or another asset, highly contested divorces can be difficult to mediate. Similarly, if one partner proves to be uncooperative or combative, and uninterested in cooperation, litigation may be the best way to move forward.
If you are not sure what method of divorce would work best for you, talk to an experienced family law attorney to discuss your situation and determine the best way forward for you.