During divorce mediation, there are three individuals involved: two spouses and a mediator.
The role of each spouse in divorce mediation is to negotiate fairly and calmly, and be ready to listen and accept solutions that he or she might not have come up with on his or her own. This cooperative attitude is the backbone of the mediation process, and if one spouse fails to cooperate, mediation becomes far more difficult to accomplish successfully. This is why it is so important for each spouse to take their role as a negotiator seriously, and to give the process a chance to produce results.
As for the mediator, his or her role is varied, with mediators frequently customizing their approach depending on the needs of the spouses in the divorce mediation. One of the main roles of a mediator is as a referee or observer of the discussion. By acting as a neutral third party, the mediator serves as the meeting organizer – bringing both spouses into the conversation and moving it along productively – and communication facilitator. However, the mediator also serves to educate the spouses of the issues that should be resolved, and whether their proposed solutions overlook or adequately solve problems that often come up during and in the years following a divorce.
Finally, part of a mediator’s role is to use their experience and knowledge of the divorce process to inject practical wisdom into the divorce at issue by asking pointed questions, using solutions from prior mediations as examples, and sometimes even by serving as devil’s advocate to challenge a potentially weak proposal for the purpose of making it stronger.