Your mediator will typically be an attorney, as divorce is a complex legal process that most couples need help navigating. In addition to the mediator, however, you can build a mediation team that is tailored to your situation and your family’s needs.
You can each retain an advising attorney to help each of you to understand your legal rights and obligations, and to support and help you through the mediation.
A neutral financial professional can help you develop the information needed to comply with the legal disclosure obligations and to help the mediator understand and help sort out your financial issues. The financial professional can also help the person least familiar with their finances to understand the complexity of property and support issues. The financial professional can also do projections that map out what each party’s future financial situation will look like given different settlement options. These projections can be extraordinarily helpful in crafting thoughtful agreements. The financial neutral is also mediating, and his or her mediation skills are critical to a successful financial mediation.
Mental health professionals (“coaches”) can act as parenting mediators to help you create a parenting plan and to deal with issues that come up with the kids. Coaches can also assist couples with communication issues to help them effectively participate in mediation.
A mental health professional acting as a “child specialist” can get to know the children and be their voice in the process.
Vocational counselors, appraisers and other neutral professionals can be added to your mediation team as needed.
Developing a mediation team is at the parties’ discretion, taking into account their unique circumstances.