Divorce Mediation Helps Neutralize a Bullying Spouse

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsA divorce bully can be described as a partner who bullies their spouse during the divorce process. Such behavior may sometimes emerge when a relationship comes to an end even though there has been no previous history of it.

Bullying can make the already stressful circumstances of divorce even more difficult. It may manifest in several forms, whether subtle or more aggressive. Some examples are when one spouse threatens to take custody of the children, hires a lawyer with the intention to intimidate, exhibits extreme control or coerces their partner into making an agreement. Mediation can be effective in helping to cope when one spouse becomes a bully during divorce proceedings.

A skilled mediator can help navigate a divorcing couple through tense and emotional situations.  Mediation allows the opportunity to equalize the power and amount of control each spouse has. They can then have constructive discussions that focus on problem-solving in a neutral setting.

Divorce bullies may try to rush proceedings with the intention of forcing their spouse into a potentially disadvantageous arrangement. For example, they could claim the divorce needs to be finalized quickly for the sake of the children. In the highly publicized divorce case of actor Terrence Howard, the judge called him a bully for his behavior in court. However, he still ruled in Howard’s favor regarding a spousal support dispute with his ex-wife Michelle Ghent.

Unlike litigation in which couples battle in court using various tactics against each other, mediation promotes conflict management in a more peaceful setting.  The mediation process allows divorcing spouses to take the time to negotiate so that assets are divided fairly and decisions are made with everyone’s best interests in mind.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”