Different Types Of Divorce Mediators – Santa Clarita Divorce
If you are going through a divorce in California and are considering divorce mediation, you should be aware that there are 3 types of divorce mediators. You have attorney mediators, non-attorney mediators and the court mediators. In this video we will explain the difference between divorce mediators so you have a better understanding so you can choose a mediator for your divorce wisely.
Tim: There are different types of mediators. You have attorney mediator. We’ve kind of talked about that a bit.
Tim: We have non-attorney mediators as your self. And we have court mediators.
Tim: We have mediators at the court as a part of the process. Can you talk a bit on the differences between let’s say an attorney mediator. We’re talking about the litigation mindset.
Tim: Non-attorney mediators and I’d also like to know, at the end of the day when you’re done with mediation, what do I walk away with and how is that beneficial?
Tim: Let’s say call me, ‘So we’ve had mediator and Tim we have all the conditions, the terms were ironed out.” What would they have at the end of that? They have some type of a written agreement? That sort of thing.
Lisa: Okay, now the judge it’s a requirement especially in family law. You have to meet with the family law mediator. The LA Superior Court systems require that mediator in the court house to be an attorney.
Lisa: They don’t allow non-attorney mediators in that process.
Tim: So what you’re saying is if you’re going to go to a court for a trial of hearing of any med type, you have to go to the court mediator first before they will talk to the judge.
They’re hoping you will in that court mediation they will come to an agreement before they’re seeing the judge. So that’s what you’re referring to?
Lisa: Which is almost in my mind and I’ve seen the other side in different organizations I’ve worked with, I’ve taken clients as I’ve advocated for them or represented them as in different organizations I’ve taken them to mediation.
And this is while I was going to school to get my graduate degree in Mediation and I just thought this is not what I thought it would be like.
This is what not I think the Peer Mediation process should be like. They give you about 15 minutes maybe. They are attorneys, so, they ask a very directive questions.
They will flat out say, ‘No, I don’t think that you should agree to that.’
Tim: Really? So they’re not really neutral?
Lisa: They’re not!
Tim: At that point.
Lisa: They have—
Tim: And this is the court?
Lisa: These are the court mandated, hired by the court. These are the ones that they require you to talk to before you come in to the judge.
Lisa: And I hate to say this but they’re pretty much a bully! They’re a little bit bully into making this agreement quickly.
You don’t have a lot of time. The judge is waiting on you. Let’s just get this run through.
And it’s an intimidating process for people.
Tim: And the reason I want to bring this that these three court mediators, attorney mediators and non-attorney mediators because they are not there to sit for two or three hours in every sessions
Tim: Of your time on your schedules. You’re talking about a line of people a day or two prior to or even on the day of your hearing.
Lisa: The same day right.
Tim: Going in there and they have other hundred people to mediate and they’re pushing you through. So that’s not what I call professional paid mediation which is what you have.
Lisa: Right. It’s not the best. That’s right.
Tim: Which is on your time, so, I just want to get these differences out there. So why don’t you talk a little bit about attorney mediators?
People that are attorneys and then they also offer mediation services that litigation mindset?
Lisa: Well, like I said the mediation process is starting to kind of have a researching. It’s a little bit of a rebirth because like I said it’s never really gone away.
It’s just our particular culture has kind of smashed it down because of our different way of looking at things. It’s coming back.
Attorneys are very aware that that’s something that maybe a little bit of a competition for them because they want to keep that adversarial.
They want to drag these cases out. They want to have all of these billed hours. That’s why they went to law school.
So they see mediation let’s say, ‘That is something maybe I can do as part of my law practice. I can add that for a little bit more income and then give people the peace of mind.’
Oh yes, I’ve heard about mediation. And I know you’ve read about it. I offer that as well.
But the people are not getting the Peer Mediation process. They’re getting an attorney particularly a couple of weeks training and is going to try their best to represent people when in their mind it’s like, ‘No, he should be doing that.’ ‘No, she should be doing that.’ ‘No, he should not be giving in to that.’
And they’re very directive.
Tim: So what kind of issues would come from that? Why is that not probably the best way of mediating?
Lisa: Well, ideally obviously you can’t be completely neutral. I’ve had cases where I’ve related more of some it’s not always to the wife, sometimes I relate more to the husband and think ‘What is her problem? She is being so unreasonable.’
And sometimes you can even say that to the person saying, ‘You know what it feels to me like you were kind putting obstacles in the way it is. And what is it that you’re really wanting right now?’
Tim: What’s the real thing?
Lisa: ‘What’s going on with you?’ And you can take them and separate them and not have the other person and say, ‘We’ve kind of come to a stand still. Let’s hear what’s going on with you. What is so important that about the set of spoons that we’re going to take two sessions on the set of spoons?’
You want to figure out what’s the underlined cause.
Tim: It’s not about the spoons. There’s something out there.
Lisa: It’s not about the spoons, it never is.
Tim: I needed a Master’s Degree in Psychology?
Lisa: In Psychology.
Tim: So you probably can pick up on these things?
Lisa: It’s a different background. And I think definitely the attorney’s are not going to want to take the time.
I had an attorney. I got tune up pretty well in the training and he said, ‘As soon as the wife starts crying and they start going at it, I get up and I walk down the hall and talk to somebody until I can hear it’s quieting down.’
He’s like, ‘I don’t want to deal with that.’
Tim: Isn’t that at the point where someone really needs in the room?
Tim: Like that should be the opposite?
Lisa: Yes. And that’s the mediator’s job. As a neutral party I’m here for both of you.
Yes, sometimes you’re being a pain and you’re kind of dragging the process down. Yes and sometimes it’s the other party. And you can sometimes call them out on that.
But we want to bring the level of contention down. That’s the only way because I think we’ve had conversations before you say people make the worst decisions when they’re emotionally charged.
They don’t make good decisions. So a lot of times a whole session will be letting them bend these emotions in a safe room where they feel like they can be heard.
The other person is respectful, doesn’t interrupt, attorneys just don’t know that process. And they don’t have the patience to go through that kind of thing.
Tim: So folks are having difficulty communicating. They hire an attorney mediator to mediate for them.
And they get to the point where they’re having trouble talking which is exactly why they hire them for. They get up and walk away.
Lisa: You let me know when you’re done and we’ll get back to crunching the numbers.
Lisa: Because they just want the process to get done. And they just want to kind of assure people assure the public we know mediations of another process and we’ve read about it and we offer that as well.
But there’s no way that it can be the same kind of process, it’s just litigation.
Tim: The mindset.
Lisa: For both of them.
Tim: By the way when the attorney gets up to go and talk down the hall while you’re arguing you’re still getting billed.
Lisa: They’re billing you.
Lisa: They’re billing you. Point six, point five.
Tim: Okay, so finally on non-attorney mediations. So with your services we’ve talked about the court and how that doesn’t seem very ideal, attorney litigation mindset. And now with yours how is that work to in comparison?
Lisa: Okay. That’s –
Tim: Though we’ve talked about it a little bit.
Lisa: And this is such a great opportunity because it’s like you said people just aren’t aware that this is an option for them.
They feel like we can get our ties and go to work. Okay, we’ve heard about this mediation process. Okay, my attorney offers mediation and they feel like that’s the wrongly other option.
And it maybe is a better process than litigation but the mediator you’re working with is still looking ahead to thinking well probably end up in litigation anyway. And so that’s a kind of the end game.
When you’re coming from a completely different background and I’ve met other mediators from like family therapist are taking on mediation because they have seen the after Math of what happens to families.
And they’ve had to deal with that. And now they’re trying to prevent all of that chaos and disaster and destruction by offering mediation services which I think is a great background.
But a lot of times I feel like they need to partner up with an attorney to make themselves legitimate and then the process kind of gets tainted again by that attorney fee set up the litigation mindset and it kind of goes off track just a little bit.
But as far as finding a mediator that fits and it has to be a good fit. You have to feel comfortable with the person. You have to trust them.
You have to feel like okay this person is listening to me. This person I don’t feel like it’s going to take my husband side or my wife side in this. I think that’s a worry for people how are you going to be or how are you going to go take her side on this.
Are you going to feel like she’s right and I am wrong. And I mean that’s a worry nobody can be really in partial.
But as a mediator that’s our job. It’s to do that the best.