I’ve been a certified mediator for less than a year but continually encounter unrepresented parties who want me to mediate their separation, custody or support issues and then assist them in getting court approval of their agreement. Given the huge ethical concerns I have over switching from the third-party neutral role to an advocate role, I won’t do it. I just posted a “Frequently Asked Question,” How Does One Turn a Domestic Agreement into a Binding Court Order?, where I explain these ethical concerns.
Are there any attorneys out there willing to shift from mediator to attorney in order to obtain court approval of the agreements they mediated? If so, how are you handling these ethical issues?