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How to choose a mediator for a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2016 | Firm News

Texas couples who are going through a divorce may have decided to hire a mediator, but they might also have questions about how to choose the right one. The first question a couple should ask themselves is whether they trust the mediator. This includes trusting the mediator’s empathy as well as the mediator’s process. A mediator should not discourage the couple from seeking legal assistance.

The mediator should be someone who primarily works in family and divorce mediation. This should be 100 percent or the vast majority of the mediator’s background. The mediator should also have formal training in dispute resolution or mediation. This means that a short course in mediation is not sufficient. A law degree is not either although it can be an excellent addition to training as a mediator.

The mediator should also be someone who is engaged in his or her field. A mediator should be involved in professional organizations and have some visibility in the industry. This may include teaching, writing articles or writing a blog. Finally, there is the question of fees and hourly billing versus a flat fee. Many mediators are moving to a flat fee since it removes any impression that a mediator might be drawing out the process in order to make more money.

Mediation can be useful for divorcing couples. If they can come to an accord through the process, they are likely to be happier with that agreement than one imposed by a judge. However, even couples who do not reach a final agreement may make significant headway on various points of contention. Furthermore, for couples for children, mediation may set parents on a path toward conflict resolution that will serve them and their children well during the years of co-parenting that may lie ahead.