Navigating Mediation When One Partner is Not Ready to Attend

Mediation is a voluntary process that requires both parties to participate in order to be successful. However, there are situations where one partner may not be ready or willing to attend mediation. This can be a challenging obstacle, but it’s important to know that there are ways to navigate this situation.


In this article, we’ll explore what to do when one partner is not ready to attend mediation, and how to approach the situation with sensitivity and understanding.

Understanding Resistance to Mediation

There are several reasons why a partner may be hesitant or resistant to attend mediation. These may include:

  • Fear of loss of control
  • Lack of trust or confidence in the process
  • Lack of understanding of what mediation entails
  • Belief that mediation won’t be effective

It’s important to understand the specific reasons for the resistance in order to develop an effective strategy for addressing the situation.

Approaches for Overcoming Resistance

Here are some approaches to consider when one partner is not ready to attend mediation:

  • Communicate openly and respectfully: It’s important to communicate openly with the resistant partner about the benefits of mediation and address any misconceptions they may have.
  • Address concerns and fears: Listen to their concerns and fears, and try to find ways to address them. For example, if the resistant partner is worried about losing control, emphasize that mediation is a collaborative process where both partners have a say in the outcome.
  • Consider alternative options: If the resistant partner is still not willing to attend mediation, consider other options such as collaborative law or arbitration.
  • Seek professional guidance: Consider seeking professional guidance from a mediator or therapist to help address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the resistance.

Advantages of Mediation

It’s important for both partners to understand the advantages of mediation, such as:

  • Cost-effective: Mediation is often less expensive than litigation.
  • Confidentiality: Mediation is a confidential process, which means that the details of the dispute are not made public.
  • More collaborative: Mediation allows for a more collaborative approach to resolving disputes, which can lead to a more positive outcome for both parties.


While it can be challenging when one partner is not ready to attend mediation, there are strategies and approaches that can help overcome this obstacle. It’s important to communicate openly and respectfully, address concerns and fears, and consider alternative options if necessary. At Rhino Mediation, we’re committed to helping our clients navigate the complexities of dispute resolution and find the best possible solutions for their unique situations.

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