Is a hiring a mediator to negotiate my divorce a good idea?
I think in most divorce cases, the best scenario is for the couple to figure it all out themselves; and that’s especially the case when children are involved. Mediators assist with doing that. Mediators do not represent either party, and they don’t represent both parties. They are there to act as a neutral to facilitate the conversation. There are different types of mediators. There are mediators who tend to have a background in social work or psychology who get into the field because of that particular skill set. There are also mediators who are attorneys. In my experience, the attorneys are a little bit more direct. Although they’re not giving legal advice, they basically are able to set more realistic parameters for the parties.
One thing is for sure, especially in cases that involve children: avoid at all costs having a stranger make the decisions for you with respect to your children. That’s where a mediator is really important. You are the parents of your children. No one is going to care or understand the minutia of your daily life or the larger picture of your value system. Once you give those decisions over to the court through a judge or a guardian ad litem, you have basically given it to somebody who doesn’t care as much as you do and is not going to factor in all of the things that need to be factored in. Get along with each other, at least for the sake of the children, and you figure it out. The judge’s job is to make you both unhappy.