With its benefits, such as cost-effectiveness and confidentiality, mediation has become a popular alternative method to settle divorce issues. However, this process does not work for all cases. For instance, divorce mediation may not be effective or advisable in marriages with a history of abuse for the following reasons:
Courts always prioritize victims’ safety in divorces involving domestic violence. As much as they can, courts minimize contact between victims and their abusers. Mediation is usually a series of face-to-face meetings between parties. Accordingly, these private meetings put victims at risk and exposes them to further abuse or retaliation. Interactions with their abusers can also trigger victims’ trauma responses, which can lead to further health issues.
Mediation is a dispute resolution method wherein parties amicably discuss divorce issues by freely communicating their terms and preferences and compromising to an agreeable settlement. This may not be possible if there is a history of abuse in the marriage because there will be a power imbalance between the parties.
The abuser might manipulate and dominate over the victim spouse and control the discussion to their benefit. On the other hand, fear and intimidation can pressure the victim spouse intro agreeing to terms that are not in their best interests.
Prioritizing your safety and rights
While mediation is effective in some divorces, it is not recommended for situations involving abuse. Understandably, it can be overwhelming to find the divorce process suitable to your situation. Seeking assistance from a legal professional trained to handle divorces involving domestic violence can help you navigate the process and protect your safety and rights.