Safety Considerations for Divorce Mediation
Mediation can be a great alternative to divorce litigation for many people, as it saves a lot of time and money (not to mention stress).
However, there are some circumstances in which it may not be particularly effective, including when there has been domestic violence in the marriage. Such a history creates a massive power imbalance in the negotiations that can be difficult to overcome and make it very challenging to create a truly equitable agreement.
When there is a known history of domestic violence, courts and mediators will essentially rule out mediation as an option.
The problem is that domestic violence might not always be easy to spot. This means mediators must be trained in recognizing signs of domestic violence and taking appropriate action to ensure the safety of a potential victim.
Safety considerations in a mediation setting may include:
- Large meeting rooms that allow for plenty of space between parties and easy methods of getting in and out
- Large tables in the meeting rooms that prevent immediate contact
- Opening statements from mediators that discuss what to do in an emergency and where exit areas and safe waiting areas are located
- Pre-screening of each party during the intake process to help the mediator determine the eligibility of the couple’s case and whether there is a possibility of domestic abuse in the relationship
- Mediation techniques that address and counteract an imbalance of power if the mediator believes one to be present
- Private meetings (caucus) as needed to give parties a break from each other and address any fears or concerns in private
For more information about the safety considerations divorce mediators will take into account during sessions, contact an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer at Solutions Divorce Mediation.