While many people may have heard of divorce Mediators, far fewer actually understand the divorce mediator role.
What a Divorce Mediator Can Do
Mediation is a non-adversarial process for resolving Family Law disputes associated with separation, divorce, post-divorce modifications, and other family issues. Within this area of practice, divorce Mediators are those who have chosen to work specifically with couples who have decided to go through with a divorce.
Divorce Mediators are neutral individuals trained to help parties understand the legal ramifications of separation and divorce. Their job is to facilitate the process of crafting a divorce agreement that reflects each couple’s particular circumstances. This includes helping them negotiate a fair approach to handling any parental responsibilities, property divisions, and/or financial obligations.
What a Divorce Mediator Cannot Do
While taking on the role of a facilitator, a divorce Mediator cannot function as a therapist, marital counselor, or legal representation. During the Mediation process, a family Mediator with a background in law does not actually provide legal counsel to the parties but rather serves as a neutral party who assists the couple in their decision-making process.
In this objective role, divorce Mediators cannot advise either party to take a particular course of action, as this could be interpreted as being in the best interest of one party over the other. They cannot get involved in any contested litigation, either.
Some couples think they are getting a “twofer” by hiring a divorce Mediator who is also an attorney, but there is a need to distinguish between receiving legal information and legal counsel.
How to Benefit from Working with a Divorce Mediator
Now that you understand both the benefits and limitations of a divorce Mediator, how do you know whether you should work with one?
Here are two questions to start with:
- Do you want to have some control over the decision-making process and outcome during your divorce proceedings?
- Do you want to save on Court fees?
If you answered “yes” to either or both of these questions, then you should look into working with a divorce Mediator. The process of divorce Mediation allows you to be involved in deciding the outcome of your divorce agreement, rather than remaining at the mercy of an unknown judge and subject to expensive Court proceedings.