There are many misconceptions about what mediators do. Sometimes, people enter the divorce mediation process under the assumption that the purpose of mediation is to have a trained professional guide them to a solution when they can’t reach one themselves. Other times, people explore mediation because they’re looking for an attorney’s advice without having to pay two attorneys.
In fact, neither one of these assumptions is accurate. Mediation is about making the decisions together, instead of having a mediator decide for you. And mediators can provide legal information—but they cannot advise each of you individually.
So, Who Are Mediators?
Mediators are neutral professionals who are specially trained to help you and your spouse reach agreement regarding the important issues in your divorce, including property division, parenting time and child support. They are not decision makers. Instead, mediators are trained to guide you and your spouse toward making decisions that are right for you.
You won’t find a mediator forcing your spouse to agree to an amount of parenting time they aren’t comfortable with, and you won’t be handed down an ultimatum about how your property will be divided. The mediator is not a judge. She never takes sides or imposes her own opinions on you.
When you work with a mediator to handle your divorce mediation, you are working with someone whose sole purpose is to help you and your spouse move quickly toward an effective resolution. This neutral does not represent either party but instead acts as a sounding board to help you navigate the issues in a clear, objective manner.
Rule 114 Qualified: What it Means
In Minnesota, the Minnesota State Court Administrator keeps a list of a select number of professionals who have completed the requirements necessary to be qualified mediators in the state under Rule 114. Only professionals who have completed the requirements and are on the list can say that they are Rule 114 Qualified Mediators.
At our Elk River law firm, attorney Lynne Miller is a Rule 114 Qualified Mediator. That means she has completed advanced training in matters such as:
- Conflict resolution
- Mediation skills and techniques
- The mediation process
- Laws affecting mediator conduct
What to Expect From Your Mediator
You can expect that your mediator will answer your questions, help you understand the court system and guide you through the divorce process. Your mediator will also help maintain a safe and respectful environment for mediation, making sure that the discussions you and your spouse have about divorce issues are productive ones. That means she’ll help you understand each other’s perspective so that you can come to an agreement that takes each party into account. If you have children, that means helping you create a parenting plan that works for your entire family.
To learn more about what a mediator does or how a mediator can help you resolve issues in your divorce, contact White & Associates.