Parties are often surprised at the role of a Mediator. Unlike attorney advocates, Mediators rarely tell individuals what is best or how to structure their deals. Instead, Mediators act as a buffer between parties who has the ability to identify underlying needs and interests of the parties. Mediators pay attention to the process and provide structure by ensuring a safe environment set up for success.
Mediators are also trained in conflict management. Instead of fearing conflict, Mediators embrace conflict and work through tensions to create a durable agreement for the party’s future. Mediators are okay with tears, yelling, and frustration. Our job is to maintain neutral and not be swayed by big emotions.
A mediator also has excellent communication skills and is able to re-frame, assert, and ask effective questions. We seek to be the agent of reality, and a good sounding board for ‘fairness’ and equality.
Last, Mediators can often be especially skilled at data collection and analysis. Unlike an attorney advocate who wants to find the smoking gun in your financial disclosures, a Mediator can quickly sort though the information without judgment and display alternatives and variables in a calm neutral manner.
Mediation can be the right fit for your family if you want more control over the process. However, if the parties need a Judge to tell them how it should be, then Mediation is not a great fit. Mediators let both sides present as much information as they need, and unlike Court, decisions are not final until the parties agree to them in writing.
Mediation is likely to succeed if there are many issues at play, the parties want to control the process, there is communication conflict (where parties have different ideas of fairness), the parties wish to save time and stress, and there is room for creative resolution.
You can contact me at Amanda@gordonfamilylaw.com for more information.