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Resolving disputes creatively

Impartiality of a mediator during divorce mediation

Divorces in New York are not always an easy process. They certainly can be, but often times, there are disagreements about how the couple should divide assets, who will have custody of the children, when each parent will have parenting time with the children, how much one parent will pay the other each month for child support, whether one spouse should receive alimony and other issues. These disagreements can also escalate because usually, the couples are not happy together.

All of these issues can be litigate in court, and the couple can decide to have a judge make all the decisions for them. But, this does not always result in the best outcome.

Couples, on the other hand, can decide to resolve the issues by themselves and have control over what happens. In order to assist in this process many couples find divorce mediation to be an effective tool.

During a mediation, a mediator will be there to assist the couple in coming to agreements, but the agreement is still the couple's decision not the mediator. That is why it is important for the mediator to be impartial, so any agreements are fair and truly what the couple agrees to.

A mediator will not favor one spouse over the other in their words or actions. They must not also be biased for or against a spouse because of their background or how they performed during the mediation. If the mediator cannot be impartial for one reason or another, they must inform the couple and should not be their mediator.

There are many divorces in New York each year. The couple is in conflict during this time and reaching agreements may seem difficult. That is where divorce mediation may help a couple. But, to be effective, the mediator must follow certain standards, including being completely impartial during the mediation. Prior to entering into a mediation though, it is still important to understand the law and know what a spouse may be entitled to under it.

Source: NYSCDM.org, "Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation" accessed on Sept. 27, 2016

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