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Power Imbalances in Divorce and How Mediation Can Help

 Posted on June 18, 2024 in Illinois Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerDivorce is rarely an easy journey, and it becomes even more complex when power imbalances exist between the spouses. Whether it is financial disparities, emotional control, or distinct differences in negotiation skills, power imbalances can significantly affect the fairness of the divorce process.

In Illinois, mediation offers a valuable tool that can help level the playing field, ensuring that both parties have a fair chance at reaching an equitable settlement. To learn more about the divorce mediation process, ask your attorney whether he or she thinks the process may be beneficial to your circumstances.

Identifying Power Imbalances in Divorce

Power imbalances come in various forms and can have numerous origins. For example, financial power imbalances are common when one spouse controls the couple’s financial resources significantly more. This can put the less financially stable spouse at a disadvantage, making them feel pressured to accept unfavorable terms.

Emotional control is another serious form of imbalance. If one spouse has historically dominated decision-making or used intimidation tactics, the less assertive spouse may struggle to advocate for himself or herself. Furthermore, disparities in negotiation skills can leave one party at a strategic disadvantage, which can also impact the fairness of the divorce proceedings.

Mediation Can Even the Playing Fields

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where a neutral third party assists the divorcing couple in negotiating the terms of their separation. This method is especially useful in addressing power imbalances because it emphasizes collaboration and fairness.

In mediation, the mediator ensures that both parties are heard equally. The mediator will facilitate communication and help manage emotional tensions, creating a more balanced environment. This neutral ground can be helpful for less dominant spouses, providing them with a platform to express his or her needs without fear.

The Mediator will Ensure Fairness and Cooperation

Unlike a judge, a mediator does not make decisions for the couple but instead guides them toward solutions that are mutually beneficial. The mediator’s role is crucial in supporting the less powerful spouse; the mediator is able to suggest bringing in financial professionals, encouraging the open disclosure of assets, and ensuring that both parties fully understand the consequences of their actions.

The mediator also helps ensure transparency. By fostering an open dialogue about marital assets and debts, including those that may be hidden or undervalued, the mediator helps enable a fairer division of property. In cases where emotional manipulation has been an issue, the mediator provides a structured and respectful setting where both parties can advocate for their well-being.

Contact Our St. Charles, IL Divorce Lawyers

If you are facing a divorce and have concerns regarding power imbalances, consider mediation as a viable option. To learn more about the process and how a lawyer can help, contact the Kane County, IL divorce attorneys with Weiler & Associates, Inc.. Call 630-331-9110 for a private consultation.

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