Is Being a Mediator Tougher Than Being a Lawyer? by Don Sinkov{2:42 minutes to read} I often have conversations with my matrimonial attorney friends about divorce cases we have. We don’t mention names, but usually over a glass of wine or dinner, we talk about our experiences and the different methods we employed to bring about a settlement. Additionally, we share our opinions about what we did and discuss whether there might have been a better or different way to handle the situation.

My friends are really bright and well educated. I value their opinions, but I believe their jobs as attorneys are easier than my job as a mediator. As attorneys, they are representing one client, which I’m sure they do well. But my job is very different. Because there are no lawyers present at the mediation sessions, I often have to look at a settlement from both the husband’s and wife’s perspective, to make sure that they understand the consequences of the agreements they’re making. Sometimes the husband might say: “I’d rather keep the house or waive interest in her retirement plan.” The wife might say: “Well, yeah, but how about if we do the opposite?” At that point, we have to analyze what that really means in dollars.

As a mediator, I’m not advocating for either of my clients. By sharing information I have, based on knowledge and experience, I am trying to make sure that neither of them makes a reckless decision. It’s that back and forth that is challenging. Attorneys that advocate for just one client have an easier job. They say: “I want more for my client, who deserves it, and if you don’t agree, you’re stupid, and we will just keep fighting forever or until the clients run out of money, whichever comes first.”

Although, as George W. Bush said, “It’s hard work,” there is nothing more satisfying than rescuing your clients from the jaws of litigation and bringing them into the light of mediation. By empowering them with information and working together to explore their choices, the clients will make decisions that will be in their best interest, and those decisions will be the foundation of their agreement.

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: