DIVORCE MEDIATION SERIES: A Step-by-Step Guide – How to Choose a Phoenix Divorce Mediator

Although there is not a linear process in choosing to divorce or to use a Divorce Mediator; in general, most people will cycle through similar steps.  This series focuses on the most common steps; regardless of the order in which you actually take them.

Today’s Blog post will focus on another step in considering Divorce Mediation: How Do I Choose a Divorce Mediator?

There are many different Divorce Mediators in Phoenix, Arizona.  Some are exceptional; others, not so much.  How do you know who to choose?  Here are some questions to ask when interviewing Divorce Mediators:

  • What is Your Background?  It is recommended that a Divorce Mediator be knowledgeable about family law, family counseling, child development and the Mediation process.  A Divorce Mediator who is an Arizona licensed attorney and a therapist would possess knowledge in all of these areas.
  • How Many Divorce Mediations Have You Handled in the Past 2-3 years? Many people are just adding mediation to another practice and may have done only one or two mediations so far.  Additionally, someone who is a full time divorce mediator will have much more mediation experience than an attorney or therapist who is simply practicing mediation on the side.
  • How Much Does it Cost?  Ask for the hourly rate before you go in for a consult.  Many Divorce Mediators offer “Free” consults where you are given a sales pitch, but not much substantive information.  Then, if you sign up, they ask for a large deposit, charge a high hourly fee, and have other hidden costs for document preparation.   On average, a typical divorce mediation without a lot of complex issues should only involve about 7-10 hours (including all document and contract preparation).  Ask for an estimate of hours.
  • Do You Offer eMediation?  If you are busy or do not live close to a mediation company’s offices, eMediation is a wonderful tool for meeting with your Divorce Mediator over the internet.  Depending on the technological application, you should be able to enjoy all the benefits of face-to-face mediation at much more convenient times and from the comfort of your own home or office.
  • Do You Prepare all Legal Documents?  Unless your Divorce Mediator is an Arizona licensed attorney, he or she cannot prepare all of your legal documents.  A certified legal document preparer is limited in the types of documents that he or she can prepare and can pretty much only fill in blanks.

It is perfectly OK to shop around for the Divorce Mediator who will be the right fit for you.