You’ve decided to pursue divorce mediation. For a host of reasons, we support your decision. Mediation is designed to preserve both parties post-divorce futures AND peace of mind. Now that you’ve decided on the HOW, it’s time to decide WHO will be your mediator. The choices are either an attorney with mediation experience or a non-attorney mediator. In this blog, we discuss five reasons why a non-attorney divorce mediator may be the best choice.
The first reason to consider a divorce mediator who is not an attorney is that they have unique backgrounds, expertise, and broad experience. Compare this to many attorneys who have worked exclusively in law and are recent converts to mediation. In law school, and for many years post-graduation, their mindset was focused on "winning" for one party. Compare this to non-attorney mediators from different fields that understand human psychology, value compromise, and aim to give both party’s needs their attention.
The second reason that a non-attorney divorce mediator may be a better fit for your needs is that their perspective is focused on gaining consensus which is usually a skill that lawyers have to be taught. In a law practice, their success was dependent on whether their side was winning or losing, not if the eventual outcome would be beneficial or fair to two parties.
Third, non-attorney mediators are more willing to bring in other experts who provide a service to divorcing couples rather than try to be all things to all people. Attorney mediators are already juggling a lot by shifting from advocacy to cooperation but many also try to be the one stop shop for emotional and financial issues. Non-attorney mediators value collaboration and cooperation, and are more willing to bring in experts in these areas.
The fourth reason that a mediator who is not also an attorney might be a better fit is that they have more experience coming up with creative solutions. Attorneys, even those trained in mediation techniques, value logic, rules and precedent. But divorce can be illogical and rules meaningless to couples. Non-attorney mediators aren’t constrained and are able to craft outcomes that both parties can live with.
The final reason to select a mediator who is not also an attorney comes down to dollars and cents. Many non-attorney mediators, such as DRCC, offer a la carte services and payment options based on a set number of sessions. Most attorneys bill for mediation by the hour. There is more transparency and accountability when you are charged by outcome vs. when you are being billed for someone else’s time.
Divorce mediation is a unique profession independent from law. Many outstanding mediators come from non legal backgrounds. They bring unique perspectives and experience that benefits divorcing couples. Their emphasis on collaboration and creativity leads to peaceful solutions. The Divorce Resource Centre of Colorado offers a 90 minute initial consultation. If you choose to hire us, the cost of the consultation is applied to any future balance. Please book your consult here or schedule a complimentary 20 minute call.