Many assume that women are disadvantaged in mediation. Perhaps they will settle for less than what they want. Or maybe there is a power imbalance between her and her spouse. However, this perception is incorrect. In mediation, the parties will only settle an issue if they are content with its terms. Mediation provides both parties more control over the outcome of their case than they would have in a family court trial.
As for perceived power imbalances, an experienced mediator will make sure that the parties are open and honest about what they want from the case. A skilled mediator can tell when one party is not happy with a settlement proposal. When the parties tell the mediator exactly what they want from mediation, the mediator will work to brainstorm settlement terms that include these requests.
Similarly, in mediation, you do not settle on any issue unless you want to settle. This puts each party in a powerful position. A woman does not have to agree to a settlement that she does not want. In reality, many parties reach middle ground on each issue, so both parties feel that they have “won.”
The parties hold all of the bargaining power in mediation. The mediator speaks directly to the parties about their wishes and concerns. Attorneys are there to provide guidance, but the final say on any issue is left to each party. In many other legal proceedings, such as a trial, the parties are only able to speak through their attorneys.