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Mediators: Facilitating Compromise And Resolving Differences

A mediator is a designated professional who facilitates negotiation as couples navigate divorce. At Tournour Law, we strive to provide clarity and guidance to our clients. Our firm in East Brunswick, has been providing reliable, ethical family law services since 1999. Our attorney, Frank Tournour, is a court-approved, accredited mediator who can help you reach decisions while minimizing conflict.

Understanding A Mediator’s Role

The purpose of a mediator is to act as an unbiased third party and help both parties reach a mutually beneficial outcome with respect to the contested issues in a divorce. They may be appointed by the court or selected by the parties. A mediator is responsible for acting as an impartial third party. A mediator helps guide parties to resolve their issues but should not influence the outcome.

Standards Of Conduct And Duties

According to the American Bar Association, mediators are held to specific standards of conduct. A mediator has a duty to:

Allow Parties To Make Uncoerced Decisions

The standard of self-determination requires the mediator to allow both parties to make their own choices regarding the process and outcome without coercion. They should also ensure that each party is aware that they can and should consult other professionals to help make sound decisions.

Conduct Mediation In An Unbiased Manner

Mediators are prohibited from showing favoritism, bias or prejudice at any point during the process. This means they may not influence the outcome to benefit one party over the other.

Avoid Conflicts Of Interest

A mediator should decline or withdraw from their role if they believe there may be a conflict of interest. This can be due to a relationship with one of the parties involved or the subject of the dispute. They are responsible for making reasonable inquiries to determine if there is a conflict of interest that may affect their ability to remain impartial.

Have The Skills To Provide Proper Mediation

The standard of competence sets the expectation that any individual acting as a mediator should have the appropriate training, experience and cultural understanding, among other skills, to provide effective services. If not, they should withdraw or request assistance.

Maintain Confidentiality

A mediator may only disclose information with the agreement of both parties. It is also their responsibility to ensure that all parties involved understand and agree on which information should be kept confidential.

Mediators are prohibited from showing favoritism, bias or prejudice at any point during the process.

Preserve The Quality Of The Process

A mediator is expected to conduct the mediation in a manner that promotes diligence, timeliness, safety, presence of the appropriate parties, procedural fairness, competency and mutual respect amongst participants. If they are also taking on another role in your divorce process, they must distinguish between the two and ensure that they have consent from both parties to participate as such.

Ethically Advertise Themselves

To avoid misleading clients, a mediator must disclose accurate information about their qualifications to provide these services. Additionally, they should not make guarantees regarding outcomes in any of their advertising.

Provide Fee Transparency

The mediator should ensure that potential charges and mediation fees are made clear to both parties and provided in writing. These fees should not be contingent upon the result of mediation.

Assist In The Advancement Of The Discipline

Every mediator should be committed to helping improve the practice of mediation both through personal development and that of others in the field.

By understanding the role and duties of a mediator, clients will better know what to expect from a mediator. When selecting a mediator, a thorough evaluation will help ensure that you find a professional with the proper experience to provide the most effective dispute resolution. At Tournour Law, our legal team can facilitate mediation with any contested issue in a divorce matter, including child custody and visitation matters, child support issues, or property division and debt allocation.

Trusted Mediation Services

Mediation can significantly improve the divorce process for both parties. Our attorney, Frank Tournour, strives to help you reach an agreement in a swift and constructive manner, from start to finish. Contact us online or call us at 732-913-3634 to learn more about our services and schedule a consultation.