If you have decided to hire a divorce mediator to help you through a divorce, then I congratulate you. For most people, divorce mediation is a more effective way to get a divorce: it is less stressful, less expensive, and faster than litigation.
Here are some things to look for when choosing a divorce mediator:
Dedication to the Craft of Mediation
A good mediator is someone who is dedicated to the art of mediation and negotiations. Rarely do you find someone who is both a fair mediator and a courtroom shark: the two are polar opposites. A good mediator is someone who truly believes that they can help couples get through a divorce without excessive trauma. Such a person does not spend their time helping parties tear each other apart in ugly divorces.
Strong Trouble-Shooting and Problem-Solving Skills
No matter how amicable you and your spouse may be towards each other, divorce will undoubtedly bring out the worst in you. Items that were never an issue before suddenly become insurmountable. A good mediator needs to have the skills and experience to help clients navigate through these choppy waters. A good mediator needs to bring people to the table and find a path forward. He or she needs to identify the underlying problem and find a way to solve the problem or, strike a compromise.
Knowledge of Family Law
In addition to being dedicated and effective, a good divorce mediator needs to be knowledgeable regarding divorce and family law. Even though some resolutions may seem fair and agreed upon by both parties, the mediator needs to know if the resolution is actually legal. Divorce (like marriage) is a legally binding agreement so a good mediator needs to understand the law and ensure that the terms of the divorce are legal in the eyes of the courts.
Resourceful and Helpful
A good mediator is a good project manager who helps coordinate people and events so your divorce is completed as seamlessly as possible. If your business, finances, and/or assets are complex, a good mediator should be able to suggest experts to assess the estate. A complete understanding of your belongings will lead to a more fair division of marital assets. Similarly, if your children have special needs or have medical issues, a mediator should be able to suggest experts who are better equipped in assessing the future and long-term needs of such dependents. In short, a good mediator should have an arsenal of experts and know when to call upon them if/when the need arises.
As well, a mediator should also know which signatures are necessary, when & where paperwork is to be filed, and any new laws that might affect your divorce.