Making the decision to pursue mediation is a huge step when it comes to nullifying your marriage. Divorce mediation helps many people save time and money by settling their issues outside of court.
It’s essential to find a skilled mediator to guide you through your divorce negotiations. The right one will speed up the process and make it easier. Here are some qualities to look for in a mediator.
1. Look for a Full-time Mediator
Many professionals who work full-time in other careers also offer mediation services. Full-time attorneys, for example, often provide mediation with the help of their legal expertise.
Asking your mediator about their work will let you know how much time they’ll be able to devote to your case. If you want to get your mediation sessions done quickly, in a short span of time, you may want to prioritize full-time mediators who can schedule more frequent appointments.
This question may also reveal your mediator’s qualifications, whether they work as an attorney, a mental health expert, or something else.
2. Prioritize Experienced Mediators
When interviewing mediators, it’s a good idea to ask about the amount of experience they have in the field.
An experienced mediator has assisted more couples and may have picked up skills to deal with certain issues. Keep this in mind if you are worried about conflict during your sessions.
As part of this question, you can ask about what issues your mediator has worked on in the past and what they consider to be their specialty.
If you have concerns about resolving child custody conflicts, for example, someone with knowledge in that area will be a great asset.
3. Get a Consultation
Many mediators offer a free consultation during which you can discuss your divorce and see if they will be a good fit for your situation.
During a consultation, you can see if you and your spouse are both comfortable with the mediator. Ideally, you should mesh well with your mediator and feel comfortable talking to them.
You can also ask your mediator specific questions you have about their qualifications and approach to mediation. There are many mediators to choose from, so make sure you feel confident in your choice.
By the end of the consultation, you should have an idea of whether or not this mediator will provide the direction and guidance you need.
4. Ask About Qualifications
It only takes 40 hours of training to become a court-appointed mediator, but many mediators have more knowledge and expertise to offer.
Numerous couples seek out a mediator who is also an attorney, for example. Others may be financial experts or mental health workers.
One of the benefits of having an attorney as your mediator is that they can take your divorce from start to finish. They can help you fill out paperwork, finalize your written agreement in legal terms, and some may even file the paperwork for you.
If you’re seeking expert advice in a particular area, such as property division, it’s a good idea to ask about your mediator’s experience working in that area. It may take more time to find an expert, but the results will be worth it.
Be sure your mediator has the qualifications you’re looking for before you commit to going through the process with them. If you are unsatisfied with one mediator, there are plenty of others to consider.
5. Determine Your Mediator’s Rate
Before you settle on a mediator, ask about their rate. Some mediators ask for a retainer, a lump sum at once, while others charge by the hour or by the session. You may want to compare rates between different mediators to find the best deal for your budget.
Mediation services may also charge a flat fee for the process. This option could help you save money, depending on the number of mediation sessions you need.
You may want to take this into consideration as you research different mediators. Look for the payment option that works best for you. Asking around will help you find a mediator with an affordable rate and good qualifications.
6. Frequency of Meetings
Ask your potential mediators how often they can meet with you. If you aim to move fast and get through a cluster of sessions within a few weeks, a full-time mediator with an open schedule is the best option for you.
Some mediators have a specific approach to spacing out meetings, allowing you and your spouse to prepare for each one. Make sure to have this conversation before you begin and determine the time that works for each of you.
When scheduling sessions, you will need to find overlap in the schedules of you, your spouse, and the mediator. Keep in mind that this can affect the time it takes to finalize your divorce agreement.
Scheduling is an important part of mediation, so look for options that fit your own schedule as much as possible.
7. Find a Local Mediator
When it comes to divorce, local laws are extremely important. A mediator in your area will be familiar with all the local standards and help you navigate them successfully.
Property laws, for example, can differ drastically between locations. A mediator in your location will have the best, most relevant advice for your situation. It’s worth the time it takes to find someone who lives in your area.
Physical location is also important for convenience. It can cut down on frustration and overall time spent on mediation if you choose a mediator with an office just a short drive away from where you live.
Choose the Right Divorce Mediation Service for Your Needs
We have a team of attorneys, accountants, and mental health experts to assist with your mediation process. Our team is composed of experienced and qualified divorce mediation Newport Beach.
We provide mediation services at a flat rate and we will help you come to a resolution on major issues, write a divorce agreement, and file it for you at the courthouse.
For a free consultation, contact us at Divorce Mediation of California today.