One of the few instances when divorce mediation is done cautiously is when there has been a pattern of domestic violence in the relationship. Mediation is based upon the notion that both parties come to a neutral, even table. Domestic violence creates a power imbalance in the relationship that makes mediation problematic, but not impossible. Recent updates in domestic violence law make it easier for the battered party to get and retain a restraining order, primarily because of this power imbalance. In a mediation setting, domestic violence of all sorts is needs to be guarded against. There is no room for belittling, intimidation, or coercion either within the mediation or behind the scenes. When you mediate your divorce, Pacific Coast Mediation wants you to feel safe and feel as if you both have equal power to form your future.
The appellate court, in California, handed down a couple decisions making it easier for victims of domestic violence to get and retain restraining orders. Domestic violence law recognizes that the stakes are high when a person is the victim of domestic violence. Two cases modified domestic violence law, in subtle yet important, ways.
In both instances of Domestic Violence Law updates, the court is recognizing the power imbalance created by domestic violence. In one, the court interpreted the law to allow the fear of the abuser to be the guiding factor in extending a restraining order. In the other, mental abuse was reaffirmed as actual abuse. An impressive set of decisions, to be sure. They display, perfectly, why you need to approach divorce mediation carefully. Pacific Coast Mediation has a system in place that takes this care. Contact them today to discuss if mediation is appropriate in your case.