Some couples opt for mediated divorces instead of traditional litigation. It is often cheaper and allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-partner throughout the process. If you have children, it can be very helpful to keep you and your ex-partner on the same page. But how do you know if you have picked the right mediator? Divorce mediation depends as much on you and your ex-partner as it does on the mediator. Someone who is too aggressive or conciliatory could undermine the entire process. Here are a few tips to help guide you toward the right mediator for you.
There are mediators for every type of dispute imaginable: employment, personal injury and contract disputes. Often these mediators are able to handle many different types of practice areas. However, this isn’t true for divorce matters. You need a mediator that specializes in divorce and child custody because this is a complicated area of law. There are many different issues to consider, and your mediator needs to be experienced in handling high-stress environments.
When you review your mediator’s resume, ask them about their education. They should have an education and certifications in dispute resolution and mediation. Don’t hire someone who has good instincts or can “wing it.” You need someone with formal training and education.
Ask your mediator if they have published articles or given talks on mediation. You want someone who is devoted to the mediation profession. This shows their commitment to finding resolutions in a positive and helpful manner. Many attorneys will offer mediation services, without actually investing in the profession.
Most of all, hire someone that you trust. You and your ex-partner must be comfortable and trust your mediator. If either one of you is a little uncomfortable, then find another mediator.
Mediation isn’t for everyone. Both you and your ex-partner need to be willing to come to the table. Often this isn’t possible because divorce is an emotionally trying endeavor. That is when it is a good idea to retain an attorney.