divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, family law

The benefits of divorce mediation are powerful and clear:

Photo illustrating choosing a divorce mediator

Divorce Mediation:

Choosing a mediator

As you begin to learn about the option of divorce mediation, it’s important to know that not all mediators are alike. For example, not all have pursued formal training and intensive advanced training. Not all are family law attorneys with an essential background in the issues relating to divorce who also continue their education in family law on an ongoing basis. Not all integrate the confidential caucus into their process whereby each spouse can express concerns freely and privately in individual sessions with the mediator.

When you speak with prospective mediators, you’ll want to consider both their qualifications and your needs. An introductory consultation is the perfect opportunity to ask all of your questions and determine whether there’s a fit. Some mediators offer the introductory consultation free of charge.

Here are some considerations to help you assess divorce mediators and find one who’s right for you.

Check background—There is no national or state licensing or even standard credentials for mediators, but you want a divorce mediator who has received a certificate of divorce mediation training (40 hours) as well as a certificate of intensive advanced training. Mediators may come from other relevant professions like family law and family therapy.

Ask about his experience—Good knowledge of and experience with the issues relating to divorce are important qualifications. While specific divorce mediation experience is a clear credential, a mediator with a solid family law background is certain to have dealt extensively with all of the relevant issues.

Get referrals or references from other professionals you trust—Clergy, family lawyers, family therapists, accountants, and financial advisors may all be in a position to refer you to qualified mediators. Mediators youíre considering may also give you names of other professionals who can vouch for their skills.

Look for a qualified professional with whom you feel comfortable—You want your mediator to be a skillful facilitator who helps you define your own choices but who can also, when appropriate, offer specific options from his experience that you may not have considered. Choose someone whom you believe is qualified and with whom you feel very comfortable so you can be as open as possible.

Consider the quality of educational materials—Look for a useful, professional website, print material, or packet of reprints that conveys the mediatorís skills and style, helps you understand the process of mediation, and outlines key issues relating to divorce. See if he writes or speaks on mediation. Effective materials and a commitment to educating about mediation are positive signs that the mediator is knowledgeable, informed, and current.

Call 201-847-0814 to schedule your divorce mediation FREE introductory consultation in one of my offices in Wyckoff, Totowa, Verona or Hackensack, New Jersey.

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©2004-2010 Joseph C. Noto, Esq. All rights reserved. The information you obtain on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.