Handling Verbal Abuse in Divorce Mediation

It can be hard enough just to leave a spouse if they are verbally abusive but it adds a layer of complexity in divorce mediation that can be intimidating for anyone.  And, there are often spouses that do not even realize they have been experiencing verbal abuse because it often makes you doubt your own reality. Or, you may feel disempowered to prove your case from a lack if physical evidence unlike physical abuse.  Because of this, you may think mediation is not an option but with an experienced and trained mediator, some verbal abuse cases can be successfully navigated in divorce mediation.

Emotional abuse is not easy to define because it can take many shapes including blaming, criticizing, making accusations, name calling, gaslighting, swearing, or making threats of things like physical abuse, financial ruin, loss of custody, etc.  A good mediator will work with the abused spouse to prepare them that verbal abuse may come up again during mediation and prepare them with strategies to mentally and emotionally manage the stress of that such as setting boundaries, avoiding engaging in any verbally abusive behavior, and more.  Additionally, your mediator should be trained and experienced in diffusing verbal abuse and keeping both spouses safe during mediation while facilitating productive communication during divorce.

It can also be helpful to obtain affidavits from family, friends, or others that demonstrate having witnessed abuse or that are character references to refute unfair, abusive claims from the abusive spouse. Divorce mediation is typically much faster than a courtroom divorce but your mediator will do everything possible to obtain a fast mediation settlement so that the abused spouse does not endure additional unnecessary verbal abuse.

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