Mediation May Not Be the Best Option When One Partner is Abused

Talking Points

Domestic AbuseMediation is a great alternative for divorcing couples – they get to settle a divorce outside of court, is oftentimes more cost-effective than litigation, and is less emotionally distressing. Mediation is a type of settlement where a neutral third party, usually a licensed mediator, works with both parties to help them come up with an agreement.

According to the Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, a divorce mediation law firm in Long Island, mediation is a good option for couples who are willing to work together to iron out the details of their divorce. This includes all aspects of the divorce, including child custody, support, visitation, and the division of property and assets.

While mediation is a feasible option for many couples, it may not always be suitable for all cases. This is especially true when physical or emotional abuse is involved.

Unequal Power

Mediation requires that both parties be on even footing – they should be able to see themselves as equals, and come to a mutual agreement regarding their divorce. Both partners must cooperate fully, and be honest with each other and with the mediator.

Unfortunately, the presence of domestic abuse means that there is an unequal distribution of power – the abuser may intimidate or bully the victim, which affects their ability to contribute to the proceedings. This means that the one in the position of power will leverage their needs against that of the abused party.

Traditional Divorce May Be Better

For divorce proceedings marred by domestic violence, traditional divorce may be a better option. Unlike mediation, which requires just one mediator working with both sides of the party, a traditional divorce requires two family lawyers. Each party gets their own lawyer and voice out their concerns freely, without being intimidated by the other party.

The court will be able to control the proceedings and generally be able to protect the victim from the abuser.

Mediation is a good option, but it is extremely important that both parties be able to communicate freely without fear. It will not work otherwise.