How to Choose a Divorce Mediator

1.You want a divorce mediator who is an educator.  You should be educated on the law and informed on how the law applies to your particular facts and circumstances. Then, you would learn what would be the most likely result if you each hired your own divorce lawyer and went to court.

2.A good divorce mediator keeps the playing field level. You want a neutral partner who ensures that all rights and interests of both spouses are being protected. In a sense, looking out for each of your best interests, as well as the entire family.

3. Good divorce mediators use a clear and practical approach to “fairness.” First, a good divorce mediator will validate your opinions regarding what you each believe is fair. They would engage you both in meaningful discussion and point out any matters that a court would view as unfair. They will then take a wholly practical view of your particular situation, what the realities are and what is truly at stake, and then help you both to craft creative solutions you each envision for yourselves and your family.

4. A good divorce mediator makes it easy and affordable for you. The cost of divorce is overwhelming enough, without having to worry about the cost of divorce mediation. Look for a divorce mediator who offers a flat fee for all the services they provide.  That way, you and your spouse know up front what is involved. Private divorce mediators generally charge upwards of $250-$350/hr, for as long as it takes to finish the mediation – so the longer it takes you to agree, the more it will cost you.

5. A good divorce mediator understands complex financial matters and parenting issues This being said, the best divorce mediators usually have extensive experience with handling more sophistocated marital estates with complex financial issues. For example, they will be able to carefully analyze the complexities of investment-based assets, employee stock incentive awards, two-household budget projections and home and business valuations, while identifying any potential tax issues and pitfalls that may result from your divorce settlement.

7. A good divorce mediator is a top-notch project manager. Keeping you and your spouse focused and on track for a healthy resolution of your matter should be the #1 goal of divorce mediators. You should expect your divorce mediator to utilize technology like electronic calendars, mobile e-mail and secure online file and document sharing, uploading, and collaboration tools for maximum efficiency and optimal communication.

8. A good divorce mediator is a natural trouble-shooter.  When emotions prevent positive forward progress, a savvy divorce mediator will encourage one or both clients to work with a therapist or divorce coach to move past sticking points.

9. A good divorce mediator must be compassionate. A divorce mediator is not merely a referee who oversees the blind whacking up of all of the marital assets and then everybody goes home.  Rather, the best divorce mediators are very much invested in you.  Look for the intangibles. A genuine caring and concern for both you and your family’s longer-term financial and emotional wellness should be obvious on a first impression.  Also, someone free of racial or gender bias, and a lover of humanity, in general.  It is imperative that both of you have some type of chemistry or rapport with the divorce mediator upon that first meeting or phone call.

Taken from Cris Pastore on

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