How do you choose a divorce mediator?

At some point during the process of your divorce in New Jersey, you and your spouse will have to engage the services of a divorce mediator. This is because state law mandates mediation for child custody and economic issues. However, mediation can benefit you in other aspects of your divorce. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, divorce mediation can save you stress both emotionally and financially as opposed to litigating your divorce case in court. 

Another advantage that mediation has over divorce litigation is that while the court assigns a judge to preside over your case, you and your spouse have the option to choose your own mediator. Recognizing objective qualities that make for a good divorce mediator may help you and your spouse make this important first decision in the process.

Fees

There are many advantages to choosing a mediator who charges a flat fee rather than an hourly rate. This can help you and your spouse to relax and trust the process without feeling that you have to rush in order to avoid paying higher fees. You and your spouse will know exactly what you will pay upfront, so that mediator fees will not become another point of contention during the process that is supposed to resolve any contested issues. If you are unable to find a mediator who charges a flat rate, be sure that he or she is trustworthy and will not artificially draw out the process.

Professional involvement

Try to choose a mediator with involvement in the mediation profession. Research him or her beforehand to find out about membership in any professional mediation organizations or articles he or she has written on the subject. Either is a good indication that professional peers hold the mediator in high esteem. 

Specialization

It is unlikely that someone who practices mediation only occasionally has the expertise necessary to help you through your divorce. Make a point of asking what percentage of his or her practice consists of divorce and family mediation; it should be as close to 100 percent as possible. 

Trust

Even if the rest of the mediator's credentials are impeccable, if you do not trust the mediator, you should not engage his or her services. Ideally, you and your spouse should be able to meet with the mediator for a free consultation beforehand to gauge if the level of trust is sufficient on all sides. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only. 

 

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