3 Important Things to Look for in a Mediator

3 Important Things to Look for in a Mediator by Katherine Miller

{3:30 minutes to read} You’re looking for a mediator? Below are 3 important things to look for in your search.

1. Training 

Clearly, anyone you go to should have training—and a lot of it! It’s important to recognize that not all training is the same, and not all models of mediation are the same. Be sure to find out: 

  • The training the mediator has;
  • The model they work in; and
  • Their specific process (how they work). 

It’s important to find these things out because a mediator’s method may be different than the client’s expectations. Among questions to ask is will the mediator explain legal concepts. There are different schools of thoughts about the mediator meeting separately with each party (caucusing), and that is another thing to consider when evaluating a mediator’s training and general philosophy.

2.  Experience

Potential clients should strive to work with mediators who have experience in situations that are similar to their own. For example: 

  • Is it a complex financial situation, and does the mediator have relevant experience?
  • Is there a business or a practice or something that needs to be valued?
  • Is there a special needs child?
  • Is there a complex or sophisticated estate plan in place? 

These are some of the questions to ask in order to ensure that the mediator you choose will have the subject-matter expertise that you need.  

3. Confidence

Confidence is two things:

1. The mediator’s own confidence that she can manage the situation. Can she handle the dynamic between the couple, whatever that may be? Can she manage divorce attorneys in the mediation? Does she understand the finances of divorce? Most importantly, is she confident enough to turn to outside experts if need be?

2. Do the parties have confidence in the mediator? It is very important for parties in a mediation to feel that the mediator is capable and can “handle” their situation. It’s really important for the parties to have enough confidence in the mediator that they can trust that the mediation will help them move through even the most challenging pieces of their negotiation and conflict. 

If you would like more information about how I can help you through your divorce—and my answers to these questions—contact me today! 

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