How to handle high-conflict divorces effectively in mediation

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2024 | Divorce Mediation |

Divorces can be emotionally taxing, but high-conflict divorces take this to another level. These divorces are caused by intense disagreements. They may involve significant power struggles and prolonged litigation, which is draining for all parties involved. 

Mediation provides a safer way to reach mutually acceptable agreements without resorting to prolonged litigation.

Engage a skilled mediator

Choosing a mediator experienced in handling high-conflict situations is important. Such a mediator can remain neutral while managing the intense emotions and complex issues that arise. They can facilitate productive conversations, helping both parties to focus on resolution rather than conflict.

Establish ground rules

At the beginning of the mediation process, it is important to set clear ground rules for communication and behavior. It includes respecting each other’s speaking turns and avoiding personal attacks during divorce. Establishing these rules can create a more structured and less hostile environment.

Focus on interests, not positions

Encouraging both parties to articulate their underlying interests rather than their positions can lead to more meaningful and constructive negotiations. By understanding the core concerns and needs of each party, the mediator can help find common ground. It can facilitate compromises that address the interests of both sides.

Utilize separate sessions

In high-conflict cases, it might be beneficial to conduct separate sessions, known as caucuses, where the mediator meets with each party individually. 

Mediation can be extremely helpful in settling disagreements during a divorce. It can reduce confrontation and allow each party to express their concerns more freely, which helps both parties to negotiate a settlement.