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Top 10 Myths About Mediators

Whether you've been doing your homework and are an expert on mediation or if you aren't sure what mediation is, below is a list of common myths about mediators to help you understand my role in the process and about mediators in general.

Myth 1: Since my spouse first made contact with you, you're "their mediator" and will take their side.

Fact: Absolutely not. My professional reputation and success depends on my ability to be a neutral third party. As an Accredited Professional Mediator I am bound by the law and a code of ethics to remain neutral throughout all proceedings.

Myth 2: If I refuse to go to mediation, the divorce will just go away.

Fact: The divorce will not go away but rather take an ugly turn as you'll both be forced to get attorneys and litigate. If one party wants a divorce then you will both be getting a divorce.

Myth 3: My spouse needs my permission to get a divorce.

Fact: While it takes two people to get married in the State of New Jersey, it only takes one to file for divorce. It simply becomes a question of whether you litigate and spend $180,000 or mediate and spend $5,000 on your divorce. Your choice but at the end of the day you will be divorced.

Myth 4: All mediators have to be attorneys.

Fact: Mediators do not have to be attorneys but some are. Some of the best mediators come from backgrounds other than law such as finance, which is my background.

Myth 5: Attorneys make better mediators than non-attorneys.

Fact: Untrue. Many attorney-mediators have difficulty remaining neutral as their training is to get the best result for one party instead of both and that's not mediating, it's litigating.

Myth 6: A mediator can give me advice and tell me what to do.

Fact: Untrue, even if they're attorney-mediator. We provide each of you with the relevant legal information necessary to make an informed decision you each agree is fair and equitable.

Myth 7: I'll still need an attorney if I use mediation.

Fact: You do not have to retain an attorney if you use mediation, although some clients choose to.

Myth 8: If my mediator is also a lawyer, if mediation doesn't work out they can represent me in court.

Fact: While not explicitly illegal, it's considered an extremely unethical practice and frowned upon by those in the mediation community.

Myth 9: Attorney-mediators know the law better than non attorney-mediators.

Fact: All mediators go through the same training and must know the same laws regardless of their professional background.

Myth 10: By using a mediator who is also an attorney, I'll get a better result.

Fact: Provided you hire a competent Accredited Professional Mediator, you'll get the same result regardless of the mediator's professional background.

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