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How can spouses stay safe during divorce mediation?

As a previous post here mentioned, there are many benefits to family mediation that may make it an attractive choice for Rhode Island couples seeking to resolve family law issues. Among the advantages is the ability for a couple to determine their own outcome through an agreement. In some cases, mediation is less time-consuming and more affordable than litigation. Divorce mediation proceedings are private, and they may lay the groundwork for cooperative communication in the future. In the end, some couples find that the number of conflicts they encounter are reduced through mediation.

However, not every divorcing couple can work together in this manner. In some cases, spouses are the victims of domestic abuse. In these situations, is mediation still an option?

Not every individual who is the victim of domestic abuse will want the case to be mediated, and this is understandable. However, for those who do wish to go through mediation, there are precautions that can be taken to make the process safe. For example, each spouse can have separate arrival and departure times so that they do not have to see each other. In addition, the mediator has the ability to confer with each spouse individually in different locations, so the spouses do not have to physically face one another.

Domestic abuse situations can be very sensitive. It is important for spouses who are the victims of domestic abuse to be safe throughout the divorce process. The decision as to whether or not to go through mediation is a very personal one. However, spouses should be aware that should they choose to mediate their divorce, there are steps that can be taken to keep them safe.

Source: Rhode Island Family Court, "Mediation Program," Accessed Oct. 5, 2015

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