I am currently involved in mediation and my spouse has not shared all the requested documents according to the generous deadline my attorney gave him. (I on the other hand, gave everything that was asked for.) What options do I have to compel him to fully disclose? He has been emotionally abusive and he’s historically stalled at every step of the way (during interim separation agreement, property division agreement, and now preparations for the ED.) I thought mediation would be a non-confrontational way to work toward closure, but now regret that I didn’t simply litigate so that I could distance myself, and reduce his narcissistic manipulations. (These are too numerous to present, and I want to keep the focus of my message on action that can be taken, rather than the drama.) BTW, he has removed funds from our joint accounts, filed for disability (telling me that he will not have to pay alimony now), and run up joint credit card bills which were paid w/joint funds up until a several months ago when the joint card was dissolved. When I discussed my desire to switch from mediation to litigation, my attorney advised against it, saying that it was likely that the court would require I mediate first. So, my questions are: 1. What options do I have to motivate my spouse to fully disclose in a timely manner? 2. What are the benefits and costs from dropping mediation and pursuing litigation, other than losing the entire amount of money I’ve already paid? Thank you
Refusal to fully disclose during mediation
Since you are not involved in a court case right now, there is no way to force your husband to produce all the documents that you have requested. However, sometimes threatening litigation and going to court if the documents are not produced can be helpful in getting the other party to produce them.
The benefits to switching your case to litigation and going to court are that you would have the power of the court to compel discovery and sanctions for the party not producing the documents. Your attorney’s fees will likely increase for a court case and there are filing fees to pay when filing a new litigation case. It is possible that you may be required to complete mediation anyway, even with a case in court.