How can I know that my mediator will be neutral and unbiased?

Qualified divorce mediators are trained to be neutral, but anyone concerned about this issue should interview the chosen mediator before beginning the process.

There are two main neutrality concerns that can be explored.

The first concern is that a mediator will be biased toward a particular party, perhaps because of his or her own past experience. This may be of particular concern if one party feels that he or she will be presented as the villain.

The second is that a mediator will push a particular type of parenting plan or a particular arrangement for spousal support. Some people may be concerned that a mediator will have a preconceived idea of the way things should be handled.

Prospective clients can address these concerns in a phone or in-person interview with the mediator. Good questions to ask might be, “What kind of parenting plan do you favor?” or, “How do you handle it when one party is in the wrong?” A truly neutral mediator will explain that he or she does not favor any one kind of plan over another, and in mediation, neither party is right or wrong, with very few exceptions. Both perspectives are equally valued.

The only exceptions that should exist are for situations involving domestic violence or other illegal activity.

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