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Questions to Ask a Divorce Mediator

Gaining More Information About Your Representation

Determining who will be your divorce mediator is almost as important of a decision as the decision to get a divorce in the first place. One of the things you can do to help you as you make your decision is to ask questions of the mediators that you meet. Here are several questions that you can ask as you determine how you will go about mediation.

Qualifications

Perhaps the most obvious question you should ask is related to the qualifications of the person you are considering to be your mediator. While it’s important that a mediator be an attorney who understands the legal process of divorce, it’s perhaps more crucial that your mediator actually be skilled at mediation.

Being a mediator goes far beyond simply being an attorney. Understanding the legal matters surrounding family law issues is certainly an important trait, but your mediator should also understand how emotions can run high in divorce and even in mediation sessions. Your mediator should know how to relieve tension and should be able to communicate effectively between both parties.

Practice History

An interesting piece of knowledge that might help you as you decide who will mediate your divorce is their other areas of practice and how long they have been in that field.

You should absolutely ask how long the attorney has been involved in mediation, but it is also important to know if they have another legal practice and how long they have been in that practice. Knowing that your attorney has experience in mediation as well as in the legal field can help you know that your mediator is effective.

Ensuring Civility

Mediation, albeit sometimes less tense than going to court, can still involve heated sessions. One question to ask of a divorce mediator is what methods they can use to ensure that sessions will be civil. Many divorce mediators will have both parties sign a document that outlines the procedures that will be employed in the session, and this can include ensuring that both parties are honest and do not resort to attacking one another in mediation sessions.

Mediation Style

If you do not know anything about mediation or how the process works, one question you can ask is how the divorce mediator will facilitate the session.

Some mediators work to facilitate conversation between the parties of a divorce to gradually lead them to an agreement; others dictate how the conversations go, typically in a similar order that a judge would in court. Knowing how the sessions will go can help you determine how you want your mediation to progress as well as your approach to the situation.

Cost and Length of Mediation

Since a divorce mediator has a better understanding of the process, a good question to ask a mediator is what they would anticipate the cost and length of the mediation to be. Attorneys who have experience in mediation sessions can give you a realistic picture of how long your mediation sessions can take as well as the overall length of the process. With that information, you can then get an accurate estimate of how much your mediation may cost you.

The mediator can also provide you with a comparison between mediation and traditional litigation and highlight the benefits that mediation has over other methods of working through a divorce.

What’s Included In Your Services

With all this information in mind, one final helpful question to ask a mediator is what is included in their services. Some mediators will include handling the legal paperwork while others may not. Knowing the answer to this question could be a decisive factor in choosing your mediator.

Ready to Say “FairWell” to the Past?

If you’ve learned the answers to your questions, the next step in divorce mediation is to get started with the process. At FairWell Family Law Mediation, working with us means you can say “FairWell” to higher costs, a longer process, and the past and get ready to move forward into your new chapter of life.


To learn more about the FairWell approach to mediation or to schedule a consultation, call us at (651) 409-9093 or visit us online.
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