The mediator is a neutral third party who has no stake in the dispute. Usually a mediator is also a counselor, attorney, or former judge, although this does not have to be the case. The skills gained from these other disciplines are often useful in helping to understand and resolve a conflict. The mediator will control the mediation process and assist the parties in trying to reach an agreement.
When explaining what a mediator is, it is often useful to explain what a mediator is not. A mediator is not:
A Judge. The mediator does not render any decisions regarding your case.
An Attorney for Either Party. While a mediator may also be an attorney by trade, the mediator is not the attorney for either party. Therefore, while a mediator may provide general legal information, the mediator cannot provide specific legal advice.
A Custody Evaluator. The mediator’s role is not to evaluate the parties and make recommendations related to custody. In fact, this is expressly prohibited by the mediator’s duty of confidentiality.
A Marriage Counselor. While a mediator may also be a counselor by trade, the role of the mediator is not to attempt to reconcile the parties and save the marriage.
If you have any questions, contact me today by calling (605) 791-5953 or by using my contact form for all of your mediation needs.