Q: I'm in a divorce with no underage children. I have a question about emotional abuse and mediation:
1. I'm told that the court is only interested in dividing assets. Would the emotional abuse that prompted my filing for divorce likely have any bearing on the outcome?
2. My husband has made it clear that he wants to part with as little of our assets and funds as he can. He has no intention of being amicable in mediation. 2. Is mediation expected by the court?
3. Since I’m positive that mediation would be a waste of time and money, will the court look UNfavorably at me if I were to refuse mediation?
Thank you. Kathy
1. The reason for the divorce is generally not relevant to property division.
2&3. In Alaska, mediation is always voluntary. The court will order mediation if the parties both agree it would be useful, but would probably not do so if one party tells the court that emotional abuse is a concern. (However, mediation can sometimes be useful even in high conflict situations. You would need to let the mediator know the history of emotional abuse, and you might ask that the mediator not put the two of you together, but rather shuttle back and forth between you.)
Even if the court ordered mediation, the only obligation is to show up and make an effort. Either party can pull the plug at any time if it's not productive. The judge generally doesn't get details of why a mediation failed to conclude, so that wouldn't count against you.
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