It is important to understand that the family mediator is not on anyone’s side and neither can he or she tell either party what to do. That is not their role. Their job is to facilitate the discussions between the parties. The mediator will encourage people to come up with their own solutions although the family mediator can and often will put forward suggestions if they think it will assist the process.
They can also provide useful information to further facilitate the discussions. However, ultimately it is for the couple to determine what is right for them. The mediator is not there to act as judge or jury. The couple are best placed to find the solutions that work for them rather than an outsider.
Family lawyers vs. mediators
Many people wonder how family mediation works with the legal process of separation and divorce. The answer is that the two processes should complement each other. Trained family mediators who are also practicing family law can be very helpful to couples as they can give information about family law issues within the mediation process. They have specialist knowledge of both areas. However, if you do choose a family mediator, such as Miams mediation, who is also a lawyer, it is important to understand that they will not be able to provide legal advice to either party in the capacity of a lawyer. That would be a conflict of interest. But what they can do is give important and useful information to both parties about legal issues during the process which can help the couple to reach agreements that ultimately are capable of being approved by a court as a final order.
To illustrate, if a couple reach an agreement over a divorce settlement through mediation, the mediator who is also a family lawyer can inform the couple as to whether the agreement is likely to be approved by the family court as an order or not. This can save time and money for the couple who will want to be reassured that their hard work in reaching an agreement through family mediation is not going to fall at the final hurdle when it is put before the Court.
The same applies to any agreement reached regarding the children and how they are to be cared for.