When conducting mediation, it is very important for the mediator to have a solid understanding of how the parties interact with each other and more importantly whether or not there has been any domestic violence during the course of their relationship. This is due to the dynamics of the roles that have been established between the abusive partner and the one who was victimized. Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. fully understands how these dynamics can impact an individual’s ability to sit across the table from their former partner and freely negotiate the issues involved in their Florida Family Law case. Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. recognizes that mediation is a vehicle that is used to assist parties in resolving their legal issues, not one where one party should be allowed to dominate the other and force a favorable outcome.
Domestic Violence is very prevalent in our society and According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website, in Florida “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.”
Domestic violence can best be described as being a mechanism of controlling behaviors that one individual uses to establish power over his or her intimate partner in order to continually control that partner’s actions and activities. This control is maintained through actual violence or threats of violence.
When there has been actual violence that has been reported to law enforcement, there is typically an Injunction for Protecting against Domestic Violence in place. On the other hand, when a person has never made any reports of the domestic violence that has taken place during their relationship it is vital that the mediator be made aware of what has taken place so that he or she can conduct a neutral mediation where neither person has the upper hand.
During the traditional joint session mediation, the parties sit across the table from each other and openly negotiate the issues that are involved in their Family Law case. But during mediation, either party can request to “caucus” – which is where the two parties are placed in separate rooms. This allows a party to have a private, confidential conversation with his or her attorney or with the mediator. Any “information obtained during caucus may not be revealed by the mediator to any other mediation participant without the consent of the disclosing party.”
When Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. conducts mediation where one of the parties is a victim of domestic violence, we believe in keeping the parties separate from each other. This “caucus”- style mediation protects the domestic violence victim from having to sit face to face with his or her abuser. In this “caucus”- style mediation, the mediator goes back and forth between the rooms and relays information and offers to and from the parties.
Especially where there has been domestic violence, this “caucus”- style mediation allows both of the parties in a Family Law case to be on equal footing. The abuser is not in a position where he or she can control the person who had been victimized during their relationship.
If you have any questions about mediation involving a party who was a victim of domestic violence, please feel free to contact Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc.

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