Hiring Your Divorce Mediator in the Future
When someone is a mediator for spouses getting a divorce, they cannot later represent either spouse. Sometimes we will be representing someone and they’ll say “Oh, my spouse wants to go to mediation, can you do the mediation now?” The answer to that is no, because it is a conflict of interest. If you have represented one spouse, you cannot mediate the divorce. It’s a conflict ethically, but it’s also a conflict as a practical manner. In my view, the spouse that was not your initial client is always going to feel like you’re siding with the other spouse. That’s something you don’t want to happen during the mediation.
During mediation, I use my best efforts to make sure that both spouses are heard, that they feel like there’s no bias and they are treated in an even-handed manner. For my mediation participants, if either party is going to communicate with me, they need to do that in the presence of the other spouse whether that be physically, on the phone, or by e-mail. If email, I would copy the other with my response. If it were by phone, we will set up a telephone conference where both could participate. If it’s in person, they would both be in the same office with me. There are rare occasions where I feel like it’s necessary to speak with one of the spouses individually. I have them step out for a moment and come back in. This is the general way that I like to handle a mediation.
Are you going through a divorce and need representation that you can depend on? Let Cynthia Hanley, a dedicated Divorce Lawyer guide you.