How Domestic Abuse is Handled in Divorce Mediation

How Domestic Abuse is Handled in Divorce Mediation

If you have experienced domestic abuse of any kind and are seeking legal separation or divorce you may think mediation is not a viable option. But, this is a common misconception and mediation can be successful and safe in many cases. Domestic abuse can take many forms including physical violence, verbal abuse, financial abuse, controlling and manipulative behavior, and much more. But, when you work with a trained and experienced divorce mediator, you can have peace of mind that none of that behavior will be tolerated during mediation. Every couple is different and situations of abuse must be assessed by a mediator on a case-by-case basis to determine if mediation is a good option for divorce.

When there is a known situation involving domestic abuse, your divorce mediator will ensure that there are policies and procedures in place to protect the victim from further abuse, harassment, or intimidation of any kind. Before mediation begins, your divorce mediator should have a discussion with the victimized spouse to make sure they are comfortable with any and all precautions in place and see if they have any additional requests for precautions.

If the abused spouse feels uncomfortable, your divorce mediator may suggest that you bring someone with you to feel safer. Both spouses should remain in separate spaces at all times except during supervised mediation and both parties should never be left alone. But, if there is any concern of abuse occurring during mediation, or either spouse requests it, mediation should be done while remaining physically separated by being in different rooms or via telephone or video conference. There is absolutely no reason a victim of abuse should be revictimized during divorce mediation so proactive behavior. If you are interested in determining if you could be a candidate for divorce mediation, consult an experienced divorce mediator that has experience working with mediation involving domestic abuse.

About Oliver Ross

Oliver Ross, JD*, PhD founded Out-of-Court Solutions Inc. in 1995 and since then has mediated over 3,000 divorce and family matters. He is a select member of the Maricopa Superior Court Family Mediation roster