Q&A: I am Considering Divorce Mediation. What Should I look for in a Divorce Mediator?

A Checklist for Choosing a Divorce Mediator

When you go through divorce, sometimes you may prefer to go the mediation route than the litigation or court route. This is for a number of reasons including the fact that there is a lot more privacy with divorce mediation than in open court. It is also a lot cheaper because there aren’t the high attorneys fees and all the motion practice in a litigated divorce. Plus, people usually feel like they had more control over their lives, family and divorce when they go the mediation route and eschew the litigation/court route.

Mediation, in general,¬†is a form of alternative dispute resolution. That is, an alternative to the courtroom process. With divorce mediation, there are three people in the equation: the two spouses and the third party intervener called the mediator. This person is supposed to be totally neutral and not on anybody’s side and he or she will help the couple facilitate their marital dissolution, walking them through the negotiation of their property division, custody, spousal support, child support and any and all other issues ancillary to the divorce.

But how do you know which third party mediator to choose?

Below is a checklist for choosing a good mediator for you. You should answer as many questions as possible in the affirmative. That is, the more “nos” you answer, the less the mediator is likely to be the right one for you. I would say that if you answer 8 out of 10 questions “yes” you can go ahead and hire the mediator but anything less than that, you should probably look for another mediator. Here is the table:

[ultimatetables 1 /]

As I said, if you answer 8 out of 10 affirmatively, then in my opinion, you could go ahead and select this mediator. Best case scenario you should answer all the questions affirmatively. Ultimately, the decision is yours and nobody else’s. I can only give you a few guidelines and this checklist to help you make up your own mind. Good luck.