If Your Relationship Has an Imbalance of Power, Mediation May Not Be the Answer

If Your Relationship Has an Imbalance of Power, Mediation May Not Be the Answer

Divorce mediation is a good way to find equitable solutions after you split. From dividing assets to negotiating custody and child support, mediation is a cooperative process. Instead of hiring lawyers for adversarial litigation, you may be able to reach a fair agreement for a fraction of the cost.

Unfortunately, mediation isn’t right for all couples. If you have a power imbalance in your relationship—such as domestic violence, deceit or a bullying spouse—you may not be able to reach an appropriate solution.

How power imbalances affect mediation

Mediation is designed to be a cooperative solution. That is, spouses are encouraged to work together to come to an agreement under a mediator’s supervision. A mediator is trained to go through each aspect of a divorce settlement and see whether the parties can come to an agreement.

Typically, most couples can agree on some issues, even if they’re willing to fight on others. In cases with power imbalances, however, one party may be acting in bad faith. That makes it less likely that the spouses can come to a fair agreement.

For instance, victims of domestic violence may have a hard time advocating for their own needs, especially if they still fear their ex. Because mediation does not use advocates for each party, the abused spouse is at a significant disadvantage.

In other cases, one spouse may be a bully or disinclined to give their ex what they want. If infidelity or betrayal was an issue in your marriage, mediation might not be quite right.

Finally, if one spouse has a history of deceit, or you worry they’re hiding assets or lying to the mediator, you may wish to retain an attorney instead.

When deciding how your divorce will proceed, consider whether your spouse is a good candidate for mediation. If you decide mediation is the best method, the experienced Long Island divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation can help. Call today to get started.

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