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Resolving disputes creatively

Code of conduct for New York mediators

The American Arbitration Association, the American Bar Association and the Association of Conflict Resolution have established a basic standard code of conduct that applies to all mediators when settling proceedings of an alternative dispute resolution.

Mediators are neutral third parties who preside over a mediation process and listen to the issues, statements and arguments of both spouses who are engaged in the divorce proceedings. New Yorkers often prefer mediation proceedings because mediation is more cost-effective than a litigated divorce and there is a better chance for an amicable settlement of the divorce proceeding.

The standards of code of conduct for mediators aim at achieving a fourfold goal. First, the standards aim to educate all mediators on the existing standards of mediation. Second, such standards often serve as a guide for mediators. Third, setting such standards for all mediators allows the public to have more confidence in the mediation process. Finally, the standards of conduct also serve as basic information for the parties that are involved in the mediation process.

The standards of conduct for mediators are meant to serve as guidelines and ethics and not as rules and regulations per se. Thus, any divorce mediator who is subject to specific rules under the law is obligated and mandated to follow all of the rules.

The spouses involved in a divorce proceeding have the right to consult their respective attorneys in order to appoint a divorce mediator who will help them to arrive at an amicable settlement regarding the various aspects of the divorce proceeding, including property division, validity of prenuptial agreements, spousal support and child support and any other issue that needs to be addressed for the purpose of divorce mediation.

Source: New York Courts, "Standard of conduct for New York State community dispute resolution center mediators," Accessed on May 14, 2015

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