You’re ready to work together in an open, fair mediation process rather than battle it out in court with attorneys. So now, the question is how to find a good divorce mediator. If you’ve begun your research, you likely found all kinds of claims and qualifications and even “certifications.” So, how do you choose a divorce mediator? What makes for a great mediator, one that’ll be a good fit for you and your spouse? Excellent question. It comes down to qualifications, experience, and some professional and personal qualities you’ll want in a the right mediator.
This may surprise you or even frighten you, but there are no hard requirements to becoming a divorce mediator. That’s right, anybody can claim to be a mediator. That’s why it can be such a challenge for a couple looking for the right divorce mediator to find one that is not only qualified but also has the proper background. In fact, there are even “divorce mediators” out there who make false claims about their education, certifications, and experience. There are no “certifications” for becoming a mediator and no certifying board. It can be tough for a couple already in a confusing place in life to discern between the good and the bad out there. The first place to look is their experience.
You want a divorce mediator who has extensive experience, education, and training in more than mediation services. You should seek a mediator that has a background practicing law, who understands the ins-and-outs of the legal system, especially around family and divorce law, ideally, who has a background in counseling psychology, and, as a bonus, is collaboratively trained
As you work through your divorce mediation sessions, it’s important that your mediator can walk you through the legal aspects of the process. It’s just as important that your mediator is trained and experienced in mediation. As we’ve pointed out before, there’s a big difference between an attorney and a mediator. The goal of a mediator is to come to a mutually beneficial agreement between spouses. The goal should be to arrive at that agreement through a compassionate, respectful mediation process.
In order to guide the process with that compassion, choosing a mediator with some background in psychology and counseling can be very beneficial. Having somebody that truly can empathize with what you are both going through, emotionally, can be a huge boost to reaching that final outcome without hurting each other in the process.
Choosing the Right Divorce Mediator
Training, education, and experience aside, what else should you look for when choosing your mediator? Consider the following qualities:
- Affordable: Divorce mediation is already significantly more affordable than hiring attorneys to battle out your divorce. But your mediator should also be focused on making the whole process affordable for both of you.
- Compassionate: Compassion is key to a successful divorce mediation. Your mediator should have everybody’s best interests in mind — you, your spouse, your kids, the family, etc. With a compassionate approach to mediation, the whole process is easier on the nerves.
- Dedicated: You want a mediator that solely works in divorce mediation, not a generalist who also works in other areas.
- Fair: Fairness is what mediators bring to the process that attorneys can’t (because they’re fighting for their clients). That said, you want to choose a divorce mediator that explicitly discusses fairness as a desired part of the outcome.
- Problem Solver: The process of divorce can often breed conflict and disagreement. It’s just the way it is. You want a mediator who is a great problem solver to help keep the process moving forward, with creativity, compassion, and fairness.
Choose the Right Divorce Mediator
I’m confident that when you choose Affordable Mediation, you’ll have found the right mediator for you, your spouse, and your family. We bring the right combination of experience, family law practice, psychology, and compassion to your divorce. And we’ve been doing this for nearly over 12 years, having worked with over 1,200 couples moving through divorce. We’ll help you find a settlement that is fair and affordable.
Call us today at 602-714-7447 or download our Divorce Mediation Preparation Checklist (PDF).