Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Choosing a Divorce Mediator

Unfortunately, there are no standards for mediators, and in most states, anyone can hang a shingle and call himself or herself a mediator. Your state or city might have an organization that admits mediators based on training and accumulated experience, and if so, look there for a list of references. Your local bar association might be able to give you the names of reputable mediators. Word of mouth is a good way to locate an appropriate professional as well.

The mediator should at least have a degree in social work, counseling, or psychology. It is helpful, but not imperative, that the mediator have a law degree as well. Even without a law degree, however, the mediator should be completely familiar with the divorce laws of your state.

How can you find out whether the mediator knows the law? Ask how long he has been doing mediation, how many cases he has handled, and how he keeps up with new developments in the law. The prospective mediator should be able to answer your questions without sounding defensive.

Find out what and how the mediator charges before you hire one. You and your spouse should agree on how the mediator's fees will be paid. Will you each pay half the fee at the end of each session, or will one of you pay all of it and be reimbursed when the case is over and the assets are divided? Will one of you foot the bill with no reimbursement? If you cannot work that out with the mediator's help, mediation might not be for you.

Finally, ask for references—and call those references. The mediator might not be willing to give you the names of clients (and should not do so without the clients' prior consent), but the mediator should be able to give you the names of attorneys familiar with his or her work. After all, the mediator should be sending couples to attorneys to review any agreement before it is signed. If the mediator doesn't know any attorneys or can't give you any names, interview someone else. Sometimes, it is useful to engage in a dual mediation process where there are two mediators, one a lawyer and one a psychologist. This raises the cost, but in the right case, it might be worth it.

Before choosing your mediator, fill out the candidate's credentials on the mediator checklist to decide whether a given mediator is for you.

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Surviving Divorce © 2002 by BookEnds, LLC. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


August 30, 2014



Keep it hot (or cold)! No one likes cold soup or warm, wilted salad. Use a thermos or ice pack in your child's lunch box to help keep his lunch fresh until it's time to eat.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!