Qualified divorce mediators are trained to be neutral, but anyone concerned about this issue should interview the 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 may 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*, and both perspectives are equally valued.
*This has exceptions – for example, domestic violence, or other illegal activity.
Gerald A. Maggio is a trained Irvine divorce mediator who has amicably resolved cases many cases out of court, as well as an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Maggio founded California Divorce Mediators in 2012 with the belief that although “not every marriage can be saved, every family can” and a mission to save families from the financial and emotional distress associated with traditional divorce litigation. California Divorce Mediators is located in Irvine, California, and serves the Orange County area and other counties in California offering divorce mediation, child custody mediation and mediation of other family law matters.