Is a Party who is Less Business Savvy at a Disadvantage in Mediation?
Whether a party is at a disadvantage in the mediation setting when he or she is less business savvy if a frequently asked question. I believe the opposite is true. In a courtroom, decisions are being made for the parties by lawyers and judges. Oftentimes the parties are sitting on benches on opposite ends of a hallway in the courthouse while the lawyers are running back and forth talking in a conference room without the parties present. Control over their divorce process has been lost and decision making given over to people who don’t know your family. The ability to control your own fate in this process and power to make your own decisions has been taken out of your hands. When a party in mediation is educated on the law necessary to make informed decisions he or she is empowered and in control. Information levels the playing field. It is no longer the case that the most expensive lawyer is winning a legal sparring match. In order for mediation to work, there needs to be a balance of power and a level playing field which is created through education. Both parties are thereby empowered to make choices for themselves. In mediation the two people whose family it is are making the decisions they will each need to live by as they embark on their independent lives. Both parties are clear on their respective rights and responsibilities and can therefore make informed decisions about their own welfare. When both parties are educated together on the relevant law, the balance of power is equalized.