Master of Social Work (MSW)
Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work
How problematic is power imbalance in divorce mediation? Research in the last ﬁfteen years has drawn attention to this issue, resulting in criticisms levelled at mediation from women’s groups, lawyers and others. Using six in-depth interviews with Ontario divorce mediators, this study examined power imbalance and its management. Three main themes emerged from the ﬁndings related to power: (1) the ‘emotional readiness’ of the couple, (2) the effects of the legal system, in particular, the relationships with lawyers, and, (3) physical intimidation and ﬁnancial intimidation. Techniques employed by the mediators were similar across the interviews. These findings led to a redeﬁnition of the problem of power in divorce mediation. Speciﬁcally, this perspective suggests that the problem with power in mediation may lie in its management by mediators, legal professionals, and government. Implications for practitioners, mediation organizations, and public policy are discussed in light of professional responsibility in divorce mediation.
Hermer, Shelley Lynne, "Examining the problem of power in divorce mediation: A naturalistic inquiry" (1997). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 158.