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What does a mediator do?

If you are getting divorced, chances are you will be able (or required) to resolve many divorce-related matters in mediation. Mediation can be a very effective means of settling issues like child custody and property division without having to invest the time, money and energy into litigation.

As such, you should prepare to mediate  at least some aspects of your divorce. However, you don't have to navigate this process alone. Each person can have an attorney; you will also work with a mediator. In this post, we will explain what mediators do and how they can help you through this process.

What is a mediator?

A mediator is someone who has educational and professional training in mediation. In California, mediators must meet specific requirements to work with parties involved in family disputes. A family mediator will have an advanced degree in a relevant area of behavioral science and experience in counseling or psychotherapy. He or she must also complete ongoing training.

How can a mediator help?

During mediation sessions, a mediator will help parties stay focused on finding resolutions to divorce-related issues. They will attempt to keep conversations balanced, civil and productive. They can also offer creative or alternative solutions when parties cannot agree.

A mediator will not take sides and he or she will not force parties to agree to anything. A mediator can make recommendations to a court, but they will not make "rulings" or decisions for the parties involved.

How is a mediator different from an attorney?

A mediator is a neutral party focused on helping two parties resolve family-related issues in an amicable manner. An attorney represents an individual and focuses on protecting that person's rights whether the case is resolved through mediation sessions or the litigation. 

Mediating your divorce will be unavoidable in most cases, so it is important to understand the process as well as the resources available.

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