The Pitfalls of Private Mediation
The following are my conclusions about so-called "Private Mediation" and the Divorce Business 

Dr. Sanford Braver spent eight years gathering data from couples going through Divorce and four more years analyzing and writing on what he discovered.  He was the first researcher to actually interview both parents.  And in his book,  Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths, Dr. Braver said the following with regard to mediation:

“Because mediation is such (an)… improvement over  (litigation) … it should be … (made)  mandatory… whether  (the parents)  agree or not.”    P. 241

And while Braver’s comment may be true with regard to FCS or short-term mediation, allowing an unaccountable, dishonest, and/or money-grubbing private social worker / Mediator to attach themselves to your case may NOT be in your or your Child’s best interests. This is because – once attached – they will very likely WANT to keep meeting with you and your former spouse – one, two, three, or four times a month -- to discuss anything and everything that a contentious spouse or former spouse can think of to complain about.  And this may go on for years, or until ALL of the Money is gone. 

Therefore, the more you know about how Above the Law officials often operate -- on your bank accounts, credit cards, and/or equity in your home -- the better off you will be prepared for what these people very often do.

Q: What is Private Mediation?
A: Private Mediation is where you and your spouse, or former spouse, agree to allow a “Licensed Clinical Social Worker” (LCSW), Lawyer, or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), to "mediate" and/or cover-up for you and/or your spouse, or former spouse, by listening to every possible complaint that he or she can think of to complain about: for as long as possible: or until

Q: How much does Private Mediation cost?
A: Private Mediation often costs from $150- $300 per hour: and may require once a week, to once a month, meetings with an irresponsible and/or malicious parent, and that often goes on for years: and thus it can add up to many thousands of dollars each year: on top of legal fees.

Q: Are Private Mediators accountable for their actions or inaction?
A: Only when a parent fires them or sues them in Civil court: meaning that a Family Court judge will not hold them accountable for anything they say or do, nor for  what they cover up or lie about: including their own resume and/or wall plaque credentials.  Note also that Civil (or Superior) Court judges will also (often) cover for them as well.

Q: What good is Private Mediation?
A: Private Mediation can potentially save divorcing couples litigation costs if they are willing  to work together to parent their children.  However, it is this writer's opinion that is works much better IF  NO LAWYERS are involved: with the exception of a single mediation attorney who is representing BOTH parents and whose services are over with in 1-2 days.

Q: What are some pitfalls of Private Mediation?
A: Private Mediation has many shortcomings, for instance:

Q: How can a parent hold a Private Mediator Accountable if they don’t produce results?
A. Since the Courts refuse to hold their own people accountable, it is up to parents to do so. 
     The following are some possible ways to do so:

The above conclusions were based on my experience with so-called "Private Mediation"  that involved 30+ meetings with a highly contentious former spouse and two different mediators: one was a "Licensed Clinical Social Worker" (or LCSW) and the other a Ph.D. psychologist with an MFT.

Copyright 2009, Randy S. Berg

See also: 
Family Court Central 
Title IV-D Federal Funding  
Reforming the Family Courts 
When Private Mediation Fails 
The Adventures of Willie the Kid 
How to Hand-Pick a Court-Buddy  
Where Have All 'D' Father's Gone