By Sara Pitcher
The mediator is a neutral third party who will go back and forth between the parties to attempt to help them reach an agreeable resolution to all or some of the pending divorce and child custody issues without the need for a hearing.
The mediator may offer his perspective on your case and may interject some of his personal experience. Keep in mind that the mediator’s opinion or experience may differ from that of your divorce lawyer.
The mediator is not there to advise you as to the specific offers made by the opposing party. The mediator may advise you that in his experience, an argument you plan to make has not been well received by the judge in your case or may point out specific strengths and weaknesses of you case. He will also relay offers made by the opposing party.
Your divorce lawyer will advise you as to the implications of each offer you make or each counter offer you receive in response. The mediator will also keep the information provided by you confidential unless he has permission to disclose it to the opposing party.
It is important to understand, however, that the mediator will not be able to use the information you provide to your benefit with the opposing party if you do not authorize him to release it where he sees fit.
What if we do not settle at mediation?
It is possible to attend mediation and not reach an agreement. The process of preparing for and attending mediation allow you insights to prepare for a hearing, which would not otherwise be obtained.
Additionally, even though an agreement was not reached during the time allotted for mediation, it is still possible for the parties to continue to negotiate up until the hearing to try to resolve the issues, if desired. Not all cases that go to mediation are resolved through mediation and it is important to understand this in advance.
It is also important to know that you do not have to accept an unreasonable offer at mediation out of fear of a hearing.
You should consult with your divorce attorney in determining the merits of an offer and to determine the likelihood of receiving a better or worse result than the offer at hearing.
Related Divorce Mediation Articles:
- What Is Divorce Mediation?
- Meet With Your Divorce Attorney Prior To Mediation For Better Results
- Who Can Be Present At My Mediation?