If a couple decides to attempt to resolve their divorce through mediation, they must first choose a mediator. Above all else, it is important that each person trusts the individual who will be conducting the mediation session or sessions. The mediator must be perceived as honest and genuine, and both parties should meet with this person ahead of time. No person should be selected until both spouses are satisfied with who they are working with.
Assuming that both spouses trust their mediator, this person must have the knowledge and experience to provide the best service. Ideally, his or her practice will be devoted primarily if not exclusively to family law mediation. Furthermore, whoever the mediator is should be engaging in continuing education courses to ensure that he or she understands the unique needs a divorcing couple has.
What do others say about a prospective mediator? Just as an individual wouldn’t choose a plumber or roofer without a good reviews, no one should choose a mediator who isn’t respected by others in the profession. It is important to understand how a mediator will be paid. Mediators generally charge flat fees or hourly rates, and determining the better option depends on the needs of each person and how long it may take to settle the case.
Topics that are often addressed in mediation sessions include child support and property division. While many mediators have a legal background, they are required to be impartial and do not provide legal assistance. As a result, each party is entitled to have separate legal representation throughout the process.
Fields marked with an * are required