Does Mediation Allow One Spouse To Dominate The Other

Does Mediation Allow One Spouse To Dominate The Other

Tim: Hey, there, Tim Blankenship with Today, we’re here again with Lisa Scholz, Divorce Mediator and Divorce Coach.

And today we’re talking about Divorce myths. We’re trying to find a topic for today.

And we came across some interesting articles on the myths. And thought it’d be fun to talk about these and kind of demystify these.

Lisa: Yes, that sounds good.

Tim: …these myths. So the first thing that we’re going to talk about, the first one is, we get to our fancy slides here.

Does mediation allow one spouse to dominate the other? The myth was phrased as mediation allows one spouse to dominate another.

Is that a myth? Is that something you’ve heard, come up or how..?

Lisa: Definitely! Especially, since in litigation and with attorneys that is the case.

One will have a stronger attorney or a more expensive attorney or more knowledgeable attorney and the other one will definitely be in a weaker position.

In mediation that is one of the main things that changes. We want this to be in agreement made on level equal ground.

We don’t want one spouse to have the advantage over the other. And sometimes they come in that way.

And then through the mediation process we try to bring everybody up or down or to a middle ground to where everybody is on the same playing field.

And one doesn’t feel like they’re being bullied over. So that’s one of the most important parts of the mediation process.

It’s not allowing one spouse to have the advantage over another spouse.

Tim: So that’s the exact opposite. There isn’t someone with more power or no one is allowed to dominate.

Lisa: No.

Tim: And how do you as a mediator addressed that because I’m sure you’ve come across that?

Lisa: Definitely! The first time we come together is through like when we have the free consultation and both parties are there.

And you’ll allow both of them to speak. You give them each chance to kind of say what they want to say and ask the questions they want to ask.

And as the mediator more like of a facilitator you remind the other party that the other party get the chance to speak and they will have a time to say what they want to say.

Even on the phone, because one party will ultimately call first and then the other party needs to make contact.

And you need to make it clear from the get-go that you are there to help both of them. Nobody is going to—I’m not going to favor one.

I’m not going to favor another, that both of them need to be able to have any [goal feeding 02:44] in the process.

And so it begins with the phone call. And then when both there allowed,I think it sets their mind at ease that there’s not going to be one that take control and make this agreement in their favor.

Tim: Got you! So I mean like in my business normally one party will call. They’ll initiate the contact with like if they will call for mediation.

And what do you normally tell them to ensure that there’s that trust factor and there’s no domination?

It is like, ‘Hey, let’s have a consultation in person or over the phone maybe conference call or both parties are on the phone.’

Lisa: Right.

Tim: Is that what you do?

Lisa: Initially, I ask them if they would like me to contact the other person.

My preference is to have the other person make the initial contact with me. Because that lets me know that they are on board that they have spoken to their spouse, if they have discussed the process.

And that person is then calling me.

Tim: Like freely willingly…

Lisa: Exactly! And that’s a difficult thing because they’re already in a difficult position with each other.

Communication was broken down a lot of times.

Tim: Right.

Lisa: So I’m trying to convince the other person that this is a good thing. It may push them away from that process.

Tim: Do you find that the one spouse or the other like man versus woman is more or less likely to use mediation?

Lisa: That’s a good question. Women initially are more drawn to the process.

It sounds like it’s something that they enjoy because they were able to kind of express themselves.

Tim: Yes.

Lisa: And have a safe place to do so. But I have had men called saying that they think that mediation will be best for them and their spouse.

And but they’re allowing their spouse, their wife to choose or their partner to choose the mediator.

Tim: Got you!

Lisa: So they’re making the calls but they want the wife or their partner to be able to make that call and to finalize the choice.