Traits of a Good Mediator
There is nothing about getting a divorce that’s easy. From the flare of tempers and emotions to the pain of losing the person you used to be close to, divorce is almost always an absolute last resort. Expensive, painful, and full of sacrifices, rarely does anyone choose to divorce their spouse outside of complete necessity.
Seems like something that need not be mentioned, but a well-educated mediator from a reputable institution is always the best option to assist you with your private and difficult decision to end your marriage. Advanced degrees specializing in social sciences and law are most common, and often most useful in the field. Whatever the degree, you should always make sure that your mediator has a thorough understanding of marital and family law for the state in which your divorce has been filed. This trait should be a non-negotiable – a mediator that doesn’t have thorough legal knowledge of divorce law could have real, serious consequences. In the State of California, there is special licensing and certification for mediators. In New York State, there is an organization that provides support and additional education for professional mediators. Your mediator may have local organizations with which they can register, and some that may help you to determine if your mediator is a good choice.
A mediator should not function as a therapist, but some are trained therapists. Having a mediator that is, in fact, also a therapist, has enormous benefits, primarily surrounding their ability to guide you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse through the difficult emotions surrounding divorce. The therapist element of mediation is typically considered to be less important than the strong knowledge of divorce and family law, but it can also assist your mediator in better relating to you. If possible, it is recommended that you and your spouse each consider working with your own therapists. Many people going through divorces become depressed, or even suicidal, and therapists can provide services to help people in these situations.
A mediator that works with or has access to divorce attorneys is an amazing, at times necessary resource. Your own attorney will be your best resource for your particular situation, but it’s possible that a lawyer working with your mediator may have some insights and be able to answer questions for you, should your own lawyer be indisposed.
Fairness and Compassion
During your divorce proceedings, the last thing you want or need is an unempathetic, non-caring person who is supposed to be there to help you. This can become a sore spot during an already delicate process, and possibly become the source of additional friction. Just imagine working with a colleague that was barely able to do their job due to sheer lack of care. How hard would it be for you to work to help with someone that you do not care about?
Mediation Will Not Stop Divorce, but it Will Makes Things Easier
The purpose of mediation is to bring both parties involved to a mutually beneficial agreement during divorce proceedings. Mediators work well when both parties are open and honest, but can go terribly, becoming a waste of time and money, if the decision to go through mediation is not mutual. Make sure there is still clear communication between you and your spouse, and be open to compromise.