Top Characteristics of A Great Divorce Mediator
- Only accepts and schedules the case if BOTH parties agree to mediation. Successful mediators know that both parties must agree to mediation for mediation to work. Less successful mediators are so eager to take the case, they forget to set boundaries for the parties… with the first boundary being both parties must agree to mediation. If your mediator cannot set a boundary before mediation starts, can you trust they will set boundaries during mediation?
- Only mediates. A great mediator does not litigate. Mediation is a skill-set that requires impartiality. Litigation is a skill-set that requires advocacy. A great mediator knows that advocacy denies impartiality and thus great mediators do not litigate. Great mediators… mediate!
- Knows the law. With a few exceptions, great divorce mediators are either attorneys or are former attorneys. They know the law that impacts your divorce.
- Is willing to reality-check you and your spouse. If you and your spouse are in perfect agreement, your mediation will be super quick and easy. Most parties are not in perfect agreement and need someone to advise them the options, the advantages and disadvantages to each option. Then, if one party holds a position that is either skewed from what either the other party will accept in mediation or is a position that a court is unlikely to order, a great mediator will reality-check that party into a more reasonable position.
- Is willing to alter the process to meet your collective needs. Some parties need all mediation to occur together. Some parties need mediation to occur together part of the time and apart the rest of the time. While others need mediation to occur apart the entire time. A great mediator will design the mediation process to assist the parties to reach settlement.
- Puts Your Children First. A great mediator will put your children first in your divorce mediation. Your children are the silent ghosts at the table. They exist, but their voices aren’t heard during the mediation process. Generally, but not always, parties in a divorce tend to disagree on parenting strategies, and thus, a great mediator will provide information to the parties regarding how the divorce potentially impacts the children. A great mediator will also reality check each party when it is clear that party is not putting the children first during this chaotic time in the children’s lives.