Many relationships have at least a slight imbalance of power between the two people involved; it’s just the nature of humans interacting together. Struggling relationships and those headed toward divorce commonly have a greater divide and imbalance of power. For couples considering divorce mediation, this imbalance may feel like an insurmountable challenge, particularly for the individual who seems to have less power.
A divorce mediator can often balance power in mediation
However, it’s not always necessary to take a divorce case to court in order to meet the challenge of a power imbalance, and to be frank, traditional litigation does not balance the power differences and most often worsens them. A divorce mediator can often balance power in mediation to help the couple reach a mutually agreeable solution. This is actually one of the goals of divorce mediation, along with the intention of empowering both parties.
Power imbalance is an important issue to deal with in divorce mediation, even though it is often difficult to identify. My intention is to help both parties determine the possible outcomes of their conflict, their desired future, and identify areas for compromise. I never want to undermine either of my clients’ power. Instead, I work to assist them both in finding their power, self-determination, and effective communication toward the goal of a most optimal outcome for both parties.
To do this, a good mediator uses a number of rules to help clients have constructive communication. This helps both divorcing clients feel ‘heard’ while limiting behavior that exacerbates the imbalance such as talking over or interrupting one another. The mediation rules set boundaries for behavior, which are then followed using proven communication techniques in the mediator’s repertoire. Some of these rules include:
- Instruction on listening
- Asking questions
- Hypothetical conversation
- Exploring needs
Mediating the conversation with these techniques helps each client feel empowered while moving them more effectively move through the mediation process.
Meanwhile, the experienced mediator gathers information to assist each client to have a better understand and appreciation the other’s perspective. The mediator intervenes when necessary to re-direct the conversation or remind my clients of the communication parameters that were set.
If you feel an imbalance in your divorce proceedings, and would like to consider divorce mediation, please contact me to schedule a free one-hour consultation. I would be happy to help you and your partner toward an outcome that is optimal for you both.