Divorce is a complicated, stressful time, but you can minimize this stress and expense by working with a mediator to come up with your own divorce agreement without going to court. A skilled mediator can help you find the best solution for your situation and ensure that your settlement is fair. But how do you find the right mediator? Here are some tips to help you choose the best mediator for your needs.
Find Out About Their Background
Many people who are in the process of filing for divorce or considering divorce seek mediation services to avoid a long, drawn-out divorce battle that is often expensive and emotionally draining. Choosing the best mediator for your situation starts with learning about the mediators in your area and their backgrounds. Ask them about their education, experience and approach to mediation. They should also be able to explain any fees associated with their services.
If you have family members or friends who have gone through a divorce, they may be able to recommend someone. You can also contact your local court to inquire about mediation services. Many courts provide mediation services for a small fee or even free of charge to families who meet certain income eligibility requirements.
Ask Your Mediator Questions
During your initial consultation with a potential mediator, you will want to ask them some important questions. First, you will want to know how long they have been practicing mediation. It is also a good idea to learn about their specific areas of expertise, such as their knowledge of complex divorces involving high net worth individuals or businesses. You may also want to inquire about whether they have experience mediating child custody cases and if they are trained in co-mediation.
In addition, you will want to find out if they are experienced in working with financial matters, such as valuing pension assets, 401(k) plans, investment-based assets and employee stock incentive awards, preparing support scenarios and tax implications of property division. If you or your spouse have significant marital debt, you will want to make sure that the mediator you select has experience in handling these issues.
Another important question to ask is whether divorce and family law mediation is their full-time profession. Some mediators may have a day job in another field such as social work, accounting or divorce attorney (litigator). It is important that the mediator you select has sufficient knowledge and expertise to assist you with your particular situation.
You will also want to find out what types of additional services they offer, such as coaching and support groups. Finally, you will want to find out how they stay up-to-date with changes and trends in the legal industry. Ideally, you will find a mediator who is a respected authority in their field and regularly publishes articles on divorce-related topics. Finally, you will want to know if they have a wide range of tools and resources to offer their clients, including a client portal and e-mail communication. mediators near me