You are getting a divorce, and you and your spouse decide mediation is the best way to work out the details. Mediation is a great way to work together, with the help of a professional, as it facilitates communication and allows you to explore options. But choosing the wrong mediator can lead to a breakdown of communication and even litigation, despite good intentions. Consider these three helpful tips for choosing the right mediator:
- Choose a mediator with experience: In New York, there are no licensing requirements for mediators, so many mediators have little or no training or experience, and therapists and even attorneys may offer services without knowing much about the process. A mediator with substantial experience is going to be more effective than one who is untrained and just starting out.
- Choose a mediator whose focus is divorce: There are all kinds of mediators, from community mediators who help resolve neighborhood disputes to those who resolve corporate disputes. Look for a knowledgeable mediator who focuses on divorce and family law matters and understands the issues involved in your particular case. While you may have an attorney representing you, you still want a mediator who understands the potential problems and knows how to lead you to resolution. This is especially important in high-asset divorces, because you don’t want to miss an issue and have to come back later.
- Research your options: Ask for recommendations from friends and family, and do some research online. Look up mediator and attorney websites and blogs and read their bios to learn about their experience. Your law firm may also recommend certain mediators. Talk to potential candidates to determine whether you work well together and whether you trust the person to help you.
Choosing the right mediator is an important step in your New York divorce mediation. Don’t rush into your decision. Take your time, do your homework and find someone with whom you, and your spouse, are comfortable.