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.