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If collaboration fails would mediation work? Or is litigation my only option?

Chicago, IL |

My x is racking up the collaborative process by behaving in aggressive and not cooperative behavior.
every time he does this, the social worker wants to talk, and he does nothing she asks him to do.
I don't want a judge to decide but this doesn't work for me. I have waste 20K on this social worker.
Is it possible a person like my x would cooperate more in a different setting such as mediation? He is a narcissistic man and likes pretending to be Mr. Mom, after ignoring the kids for 15 years.
All the sudden he changed his whole personality, hired collaborative lawyer and acts very rude to me. Collaboration seems never ending whent he parties don't follow the rules.

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Attorney answers 5


if collaboration will not get him to agree, it is unlikely mediation will. you could stop collaboration, hire a different lawyer. then the judge will order mediation on custody and parenting time as the illinois supreme court requires that.

go interview some lawyer.


Litigation is indeed your only viable option. Collaborative law and mediation are for reasonable people who want a reasonable divorce. They rarely work if one party is psychologically challenged. Reasonable is defined as being able to see the other party's view. You don't have to agree with their view. You must merely be capable of comprehending why their position is what it is, and then of validating their right to have such a position. Narcissists cannot do these things.


I am a trained collaborator, mediator and family law attorney. What you describe requires the adversarial litigation process. Mediation will never work, especially if you have already tried the collaborative approach. Make sure you have an experienced attorney with strong litigation skills.


Sounds like you are headed down the long road of litigation. Make sure you hire a good lawyer.


Given what you've described, I would recommend making no further attempts at collaboration or mediation. You need to retain a lawyer and file for a contested divorce. Without the threat of being brought before a judge if they can't agree, many people will "game" collaboration or mediation as your husband seems to be doing, and undermine its ability to accomplish anything. Ironically, when parties engage in actual litigation, they are often willing to be more reasonable than they are when there are no court proceedings pending. This is because they know that, if they don't reach accommodation with one another, they will go to trial and the judge will make all the decisions for them. Therefore, even though you may end up having a heavily litigated case, don't be surprised if your husband also becomes a little more reasonable once a case has been filed.