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Jackson couple’s court-ordered divorce mediation attempt fails

Readers may have heard of the ongoing troubles between Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi Jackson. In 2013, both Jackson and his ex-wife pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy for using campaign money on personal expenses, and both subsequently spent time in prison on the convictions. Following the prison sentences, Jesse Jackson Jr. filed for divorce.

Now the couple looks like they will be headed to trial after a failed attempt at mediation. The couple had reportedly agreed to mediation in June at the request of the judge handling their case. They were to complete a minimum of four hours of mediation with a neutral mediator who doesn’t represent either of them. According to Jesse Jackson Jr.’s attorney, differences in how to handle a financial settlement were largely behind the failure. 

Divorce mediation certainly can be successful, but it really depends on the willingness of the parties to cooperate. The Jackson couple’s divorce case has been highly contentious, with discovery requests being made for compromising personal information. It wouldn’t be surprising, under such circumstances, that the parties would be unwilling to cooperate with one another in the mediation process.

Not every couple is likely to succeed in divorce mediation. For those who have a shot, mediation can be a way to save money and avoid publicity in resolving differences related to marital dissolution. Couples who enter into the process expecting that they aren’t going to have to work cooperatively with each other are not likely to succeed. Attorneys for each party do, of course, have to decide what they are willing to compromise and what they are not willing to compromise. When couples can agree to work together, though, divorce mediation can be a great way to handle differences in divorce. 

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