About Divorce Mediators and Therapists/Counselors
In some instances, while an actual attorney-at-law handling all legal aspects may not be required to facilitate a divorce, the use of an outside third party to help settle particular issues may be needed. These are known as 'mediators' and often are lawyers who charge a reduced fee, therapists, psychologists, social workers, or even clergy members.
The major difference between a mediator and an actual attorney would be that a mediator DOES NOT represent one particular party or the other's interests. Whereas a lawyer is paid to specifically represent you and your interests only, a mediator is not.
Often, a mediator will absolutely refuse to meet individually with one party or another. The mediator's function is to reach a fair and equitable resolution on behalf of BOTH parties. While it is important to make the mediator aware of your position and goals, unlike an actual attorney, those factors will not dominate his or her decision making process. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to recognize these facts and thoroughly analyze your position and your desired goals before employment of this type of professional. When properly utilized, mediation can be an effective way to keep actual costs at a minimum.
Finally, as divorce can be a very emotional and stressful experience, you may wish to seek out the services of therapists and counselors. These professionals can be invaluable in terms of understanding, resolving, and coping with the wide variety of issues pertaining to an impending divorce. Be sure to obtain a clear understanding of what is and is not covered under any and all medical insurance plans you may have. And, as always, make sure that the therapist and counselor in question is not only professionally qualified, but whether or not he or she is the best suited to match your personality. It is not unusual for therapists or counselors to also provide mediation and custody evaluation services.
Resources & Tools
CERTIFIED DIVORCE FINANCIAL ANALYST (CDFA) – Another professional who appears in high-end divorces is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, an expert who has passed examinations to become a specialist in divorce financial issues.
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