Getting a divorce is often contentious, which is why many couples choose mediation to settle their differences. Several different types of professionals can be employed as a mediator, including an attorney, a retired judge, a CPA, or even a social worker. However, it is important to find the right mediator that will help you and your partner come to an amicable divorce agreement.
Here are a few important questions to ask a prospective mediator.
What Is Your Divorce Mediation Style?
Different mediators have different styles based on several factors. For example, if you choose a mediator who has a background in accounting, they might be better suited to help you with financial issues. A mediator who was once an attorney can be helpful in determining custody and alimony. Whomever you choose, make sure the mediator can help you work through your unique issues as a couple.
What Mediation Training Do You Have?
Professional mediation training and certification is required before anyone can become a licensed mediator. To become a mediator, the candidate must first typically have at least a bachelor's degree and complete mediation training. There are specific mediation specialties, including divorce, personal injury, real estate, civil, and adoption.
Ensure that your mediator has completed divorce mediation training and is certified. A mediator who is certified in another field will not have the unique set of skills necessary to be effective in your divorce.
Can My Attorney Attend Mediation?
Talking with your current spouse to find a mediator is important because there is one crucial question you must ask, and all parties must agree on: Whether or not the attorneys are allowed at mediation. Some mediators will allow attorneys to be present in the room. Others will not allow your attorney to attend, or your spouse might prefer mediation without either attorney present.
If it is important for you to have your attorney in the room, look for a mediator who will allow attorneys.
What Is Included in Your Mediation Fees?
Finally, don't hesitate to inquire about what is included in the mediation fee. Some mediators charge a flat rate for their services, while others might charge based on the different services provided. For example, you might pay extra for the use of the mediation space and for filing any court documents. Inquire about the type of payment that is available, such as by check or credit card.
If you are considering divorce mediation, contact a local professional today.