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    Pleasanton, CA 94588

How can I mediate when I can’t trust my spouse? When she or he has betrayed me and our vows? Valid questions. And the simple answer is you don’t have trust your spouse to mediate your divorce. You have to trust the mediator and yourself. You trust the mediator to run the process and facilitate your discussions in such a manner that neither you nor your spouse will take advantage of the process.

Trusting the Mediator

Divorce Mediation can be successful regardless of your distrust of your spouse if you trust your mediator. Your mediator’s job is to facilitate your discussions and guide the process. To accomplish her job, your mediator must be able to balance candor, humor, sympathy, and constructive feedback in a way that maintains the mediator’s neutrality. A neutral mediator is able to make both parties feel that their concerns are being heard and understood. The mediator may not agree with each parties’ positions, but she has learned how to appreciate opposing viewpoints so that she can guide you towards solutions that bring both sides viewpoints into account.  At first, you may feel uncomfortable with the mediator because she is not taking your side, but it is not her job to take one side over another.  Instead, she is seeing both sides and trying to help you see both sides of the argument so that you can find a compromise.  So when you feel confident that the mediator understands both of your feelings and viewpoints and is willing to push both of you to see the other parties’ point of view, then you put your trust in the mediator.  Your mediator will often use the parties’ distrust in one another to guide the parties to provide proof of their claims so that each can enter into an agreement with facts they do trust rather than the word of a person that they do not trust.

Trusting Yourself

In divorce mediation, you are always in control. The mediator cannot decide anything for you so if you do not like a proposal being made by your spouse or a suggestion being made by the mediator all you need to do is speak up. You can distrust your spouse so long as you trust yourself to ask questions,  to insist upon receiving information that you may need in order to evaluate an offer and to seek the advice of a consulting attorney if you feel you are in over your head.

Divorce Mediation is Worth a Closer Look

No divorce process will restore your trust in your spouse so I discourage you from letting distrust motivate your decision whether or not to mediate your divorce. But you can pick a mediator that you trust. The best way to decide if Amanda M Jarratt is the right mediator for you is to start with that first phone appointment.



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