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Does mediation give an advantage to a dominant spouse?

One of the reasons people are sometimes nervous to go with divorce mediation, rather than going straight to court, is that they feel like their spouse will get an advantage.

Perhaps that spouse has a dominant personality. Maybe it's even the reason for the divorce. The other person worries that the spouse will push them around during mediation, making demands and fighting aggressively in a way that is hard to push back against. They worry that this could end in an unfair division of assets or time with the kids.

While there is a common myth that a dominant spouse has an advantage in mediation, that's not actually the case.

After all, the mediator is there to keep a power imbalance from forming. The mediator may have specific behavioral guidelines that have to be followed during the meetings. He or she may control conversations by only allowing one person to speak at a time so that both get a chance to be heard. In some cases, mediators even meet with people individually before holding the joint meeting to make sure they know what both people want in the divorce.

The goal is to make sure that things go smoothly and that a fair resolution can be found without a court case. Even if one spouse is more dominant and aggressive, the mediator still ensures that the goal remains the same.

If you and your spouse are getting divorced, you need to know all of the legal options you have. Mediation does not work for all couples, but it can be very helpful for many.


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