- 4 ways to find a divorce mediator
- What should you look for?
- Questions to ask your divorce mediator
- Tips to help you work with your spouse during the search
Your mediator plays a key role in your divorce. This professional guides important conversations involving your children, debts, assets, and more. You must choose this person very carefully, and your spouse should help.
Finding divorce mediators to interview is relatively simple. But remember, you must examine each choice and hold an interview before you pick one professional over another. This article will explain just how to do that.
4 ways to find a divorce mediator
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there were about 8,900 people working as arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators in 2021. One of these trained professionals could be the answer to tough questions holding up your marriage.
Here are four ways you can find the person you need:
1. Try a web search
Google delivers more than 56 million results for the search term "divorce mediator." Plenty of professionals create their own web pages to help their potential clients find them. You could use a search engine like Google to help you find someone to work on your divorce.
2. Check with the courthouse
Every state has different requirements for their mediators. Some states, including Oregon and California, have mediation associations with searchable databases. You could use a resource like this to help you find someone nearby to work with you.
The courthouse handling your divorce could point you to the mediation association or registry functioning in your state.
3. Ask your lawyer
Some lawyers have good experiences with local mediators. If asked, they may remember professionals who worked on divorces similar to yours with good results. If you have a lawyer working on your case, it's worth asking for a recommendation.
4. Ask friends and family
Your friends and family members may have worked with mediators they appreciated. If someone close to you has recently been through a divorce and liked the mediator, ask for a recommendation.
What should you look for?
Plenty of mediators may be available to work on your divorce. As you're scouring the web and talking to friends, it's important to look for a few core qualities.
Examine the following regarding your potential mediator:
- Education: Some mediators have earned a bachelor's degree. While a higher education doesn't always equate to more skill, someone with a formal background might be a better fit than someone without it.
- Registration: If your state has a directory, and professionals must take classes to get on it, their participation suggests that they are invested in best practices in the field.
- Experience: People who have worked for a long time in the industry have likely worked on many different types of cases, including some that could be like yours. This experience could mean a faster resolution for your situation.
- Pricing: Some mediators charge huge fees for their work, while others are slightly less expensive.
Questions to ask your divorce mediator
Professional websites and resumes can tell you a lot about a divorce mediator. But before you choose, you must ask your professional a few important questions.
Ask your mediator the following:
- Have you worked on divorces similar to mine?
- How long do your mediation sessions usually last?
- How do you typically approach a mediation session?
- How many of the mediations you facilitated resulted in a settlement agreement?
Not sure if mediation will work for you?
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Tips to help you work with your spouse during the search
Experts say mediation works best when both parties agree on the professional who will help them. You must work together to find the right person.
You can work with your partner effectively by doing the following:
- Sharing everything you learn, even if you think your partner won't agree with what you've found
- Sharing the research duties equally so you both bring good options to the table
- Agreeing to negotiate with one another rather than trying to score points
If you can't work with your spouse, you can let your lawyer choose a mediator for you. But working together on this very important selection could set the stage for a more collaborative divorce.
- Divorce Mediation Checklist
- Download: The Ultimate Guide to Divorce Mediation
- Who Should Not Use a Divorce Mediator?
ReferencesArbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators. (October 2022). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Mediator Directory. Oregon Mediation Association.
Mediator Directory. Southern California Mediation Association.
Choose Carefully: All Mediators Are Not Created Equal. American Institute of Mediation.