What can a mediator not do?

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2023 | Divorce, Divorce Mediation |

A mediator is a neutral third party who helps guide divorce mediation. This person is not associated with either spouse.

He or she is not a judge. The mediator’s job is to listen to each person, help guide communication, assist with understanding options and take steps to help a couple reach an agreement. But there are things the mediator cannot do.

Take sides

The mediator cannot argue for one side or the other. This person must remain neutral. He or she can help guide the conversation and ensure each party understands the other’s viewpoint. But the mediator cannot take sides and act for only one person during mediation.

Make rulings

The mediator is not an authority who can make decisions during mediation. If you need someone to make decisions, then you need to go to court and let a judge decide matters. The mediator is only a guide. He or she is not there to make decisions for you.

Provide legal advice

The mediator is not a legal representative. Even if the person is a licensed attorney, he or she has no right to offer any type of legal advice or recommendations during mediation. When acting as a mediator, this person must remain neutral and act only as a guide through the process. If you have legal questions, you need to direct those to your attorney.

Finalize the divorce

The mediator does not have the legal ability to finalize your divorce. While he or she can assist you with finalizing your agreement, a judge must still sign off and officially terminate your marriage. Going through and completing mediation is not the final step. You will still have to send your agreement to the court for an order to grant the divorce.