Mediator is a Therapist ? Attorney ?
A lot of people ask me, does a mediator helps people get back to living together? Is it the mediator who decides what the agreement of the parties will look like ? what its content and essence will be if they are separate? So for both of these questions the answer is no!
First, if the mediator is not certified as a couple’s counselor /psychologist/ therapist he does not have the authority to provide couples therapy/ couples counseling, unless it is a very specific dispute on which the mediator can provide the parties tools to resolve that dispute.
About the agreement – the beauty of mediation that the parties can make their own decisions about their lives in a divorce mediation. If you will think about it, during our marriage life we have many decisions to make, without the help of an external party. When it comes to divorce you need some help of a third party impartial, the mediator, but still you are the one who makes your decisions.
The role of the mediator to build a bridge between the parties, think about it like a pipeline that connects the parties and transmits media messages in a healthy and clear way, as free from disputes as possible, so what happens when you get divorced? After all, there is a need to pay alimony for the children or for the spouse there is asset and other legal matters that need to be considered.
I, at the beginning of our first mediation session (or even before that on the phone), advise the parties to go get initial legal advice, it does not mean that from here you are going to skirmish in court but it doesn't harm to acquire legal knowledge from a qualified person in the state in which you live, an hour of consultation can contribute a great deal to the continuation of the mediation process.
With this knowledge and information, the parties can schedule a mediation session and beginning the mediation process, the mediator is supposed to give the right tools for continued healthy dialogue between the parties that will eventually lead to a comprehensive agreement from both the financial and personal aspects such as children visitation, custody and more.
At the end of the mediation’s process, the mediator will summarize all decisions that the parties agreed on in the mediation sessions. With the agreement, the parties can go to a lawyer to review the agreement before submitting it to the court. The couple feel if there is any controversy over to returning to the mediation table to settle the issue.
After this process, the agreement is submitted to the court in order to regulate the divorce in a legal form.
The advantage of this process is giving the opportunity to the parties to speak, even if the discourse is accompanied by anger and a lot of harsh statements to each other is still better to have a direct communication between the parties than to communicate through their lawyers who do their job faithfully in fighting their dispute. In addition, this procedure is cheaper and faster than a litigation through lawyers and courts which takes much longer than mediation.
The parties can get a legal advice before and after the mediation process with the ability to each other in a direct way, “face to face”, to say what sits On the heart , what bothers, even if it is difficult and painful, eventually after “vomiting” there is relief.
I've seen so many divorce cases, some of them successful and ended in mediation and some unfortunately not. My great pain as a mediator to those who were unsuccessful, who after a long tiring and expensive journey with lawyers come to an agreement that largely reflects the agreement that the parties could reach in the mediation process.
The road is different but the result in most cases is quite the same.
For healthy communication!