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What Can I Do if I Think Our Divorce Mediator Has a Conflict of Interest?

Posted on May 16, 2022 in Divorce

chicago divorce lawyerWhen you decide to hire a mediator to help you negotiate your Illinois divorce, there are many things you should look for. Experience, education and training, reasonable rates, and professional development are all important. But equally important is the ability to trust that your mediator is truly neutral and invested in helping you negotiate a fair divorce decree. You will discuss sensitive personal issues with your mediator and spend many hours with them, so it is important to choose someone trustworthy.

However, even after the most careful selection process, it may become apparent that your mediator has a conflict of interest that prevents him or her from being truly neutral in your case. If you are worried that your divorce mediator may have a conflict of interest, read on. 

What Counts as a Conflict of Interest? 

Mediators are the party primarily responsible for determining whether there is a conflict of interest that would prevent them from mediating a given case. But spouses, as well as their attorneys, need to be aware and on the lookout for conflicts as well. Potential conflicts of interest include anything that could limit the ability of a mediator to be completely impartial, including but not limited to: 

  • Previous or current therapeutic, economic, or personal relationships with either spouse, their attorneys, or any relatives of either party. This includes children. For example, if a mediator’s child plays on a soccer team with a child of one of the spouses or one of the spouse’s attorneys, that could be perceived as a conflict of interest

  • Previous or current relationships with a judge, evaluator, or another professional in the case

  • Previously representing either spouse as legal counsel

Sometimes a conflict of interest does not become apparent until after a case has begun. If a mediator realizes there is a conflict of interest, he or she must disclose it immediately. Depending on the situation, it may be possible for the mediator to continue working with the divorcing couple. 

If you are worried that your mediator has a conflict of interest they have not disclosed, you or your attorney can request that the mediator be removed from the case and the mediation process began again. 

Meet with an Arlington Heights Mediation Lawyer

Mediation can be a highly effective tool during divorce, but mediators are people subject to the same complications as everyone else. If you are worried that your mediator may have a conflict of interest that is getting in the way of their ability to be neutral, consider scheduling an appointment with an Arlington Heights divorce attorney-mediator with A. Traub & Associates. We can discuss your situation and help you determine whether it may be necessary to select a new mediator. Call us today at 847-749-4182




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