If you have decided to divorce through mediation, you have likely already recognized that a major advantage of this method is the financial and emotional control you and your spouse will have throughout the divorce process. If you have kids, mediation will help you build a strong foundation for future co-parenting while reducing familial conflict. You can also avoid public disclosure of your divorce if you avoid litigation. The benefits go on and on.
After deciding on mediation, it’s imperative to choose the right mediator for your unique situation. Below are a few criteria to help you make a great choice.
Criterion #1: Proximity
Because you’ll be working through the terms of your divorce over the course of a few meetings, it’s helpful to select a mediator with an office nearby. Search the Internet for mediation offices that are a comfortable driving distance from your home.
Criterion #2: Experience
Searching for a mediation office in your area will likely produce a long list of options, so you will need to narrow your search by finding professionals with extensive training, experience and success with mediating divorce. Look at their credentials online. How long have they been mediating divorce? Do they have leadership and/or memberships in organizations that will help them better serve your needs? Gathering this information will help you narrow your selection to the most experienced and qualified candidates.
Criterion #3: Personality
Once you have your eye on several potential mediators in your area, contact their offices and speak with them. During your conversation, note their personalities and attitude. Who will most likely make you and your spouse feel comfortable and well-informed during the mediation process?
Reading reviews on Avvo.com, Yelp, and other directory websites ahead of time will also inform you about how other clients perceive a mediator’s character and work.
Criterion #4: Knowledge
During your initial conversation, you should already start to get the feeling that the mediator is committed to being your educator. He or she should know your state’s divorce laws inside and out and inform you about them, so you can make the best decisions possible.
Your choice of mediator directly affects the success and efficiency of your divorce and your experience throughout the process. It’s critical to select someone nearby with a great track record, extensive knowledge, and a personality that puts you at ease.
Feel free to contact Bort Law if you think mediation is right for you. A member of our team would be happy to answer your questions and help you get started.