Are there any disadvantages to mediation?

Since mediation is not a court proceeding, participants do not have recourse to the discovery procedures that are usually present in a trial. If both parties enter the mediation in a fair and open manner, there should be little trouble in this area. If, however, one party conceals pertinent information, such as financial information, there is little that the mediator can do to enforce full financial disclosure. If this is the case, the opposing party may have to resort to the court to compel financial disclosure.

In a disintegrating marriage it is not unusual for one partner to be "dominant," either through financial means or because of being an emotional bully. This can set up a power imbalance in the mediation, which might prove to be fatal. If both participants enter the mediation fully prepared and well-equipped with information, the possibility of a power imbalance is reduced.

A good mediator can typically pick up on this imbalance rather quickly. One of the major challenges a mediator will face is making sure an imbalance is corrected as soon as possible.