Fighting out an issue in court isn’t the only way to solve disputes – especially when it comes to divorce or other family conflicts. Mediation is a popular, fast, and cost-effective alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that involves working with a professional, neutral third party to help come to a mutual understanding. There are many advantages of choosing mediation over court battles that are often expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. The first step to a successful family mediation is, of course, hiring the right professional mediator for your case. It’s also recommended to involve an experienced attorney like those at The Medlin Law Firm to offer legal advice during the mediation process since mediators are not ethically allowed to do so. Attorney-assisted mediation is beneficial for high-conflict divorce disputes.
Most family mediators are genuinely committed to helping their clients resolve their family disputes in the best way possible. However, not all mediators are the same. They all have different combinations of attributes such as experience, personality, style, and other competencies. Seeking out the most suitable one involves identifying one with the right combination of attributes that will significantly boost the chances of a successful mediation process – depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.
In this article, we’ll look at some tips to help you identify the best family mediator to help with your case. Read on!
Consider their Qualifications
Your family mediator of choice should have the right qualifications and be court-certified for the job. Check the minimum standard required for a qualified family mediator in your state to know if your potential family mediator is qualified. In Texas, mediators must have at least 40 hours of training in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and 24 hours of training in family mediation. A family mediator with a focused education on dispute resolution demonstrates their commitment and understanding of effective mediation practices.
They Should have Focused Experience with Family Mediation
How many family-related disputes have they handled in the past, and what is their success rate? The more cases they’ve successfully handled in the past, the more likely they will help you and your spouse or family member reach a common ground. A mediator with focused experience means they have the specific knowledge applicable to a particular case.
They Should have a Transparent and Practical Approach to Fairness
A perfect family mediator should have the knowledge to empower each party involved to make informed decisions based on particular facts and circumstances surrounding a case. They should be able to engage and validate the opinions of the involved parties based on what the court would consider as fair. While what is considered fair may not be ideal for both parties, it should be a solution that either party feels comfortable with.
How Comfortable Do You Feel With Them?
Trust is crucial when choosing the most suitable family mediator for your case. Family disputes often include high emotions. A mediator with a high level of empathy and compassion will ensure that your thoughts and feelings are captured and addressed accordingly during the mediation process. You should trust them to be impartial in the process. This can be best determined during your first consultation with them.
Ask About their Network of Contacts
Working with a family mediator who’s savvy enough to have a relevant network of contacts that can help with your case is vital. Some of the most common experts include a therapist, divorce coach, financial consultant, estate agent, etc. These connections will come in handy at various levels of the mediation process and help speed it up.
Research their Reputation
Finally, choosing a family mediator with an excellent reputation is the best way to feel reassured of your choice. There are many ways to ascertain their reputation. The internet is a great place to start. Visit their website and review their ‘about page’ and other marketing content to know if they resonate with your mediation needs. You can also go through online reviews from their past clients to get a feel of what to expect from them.
Mediation is a fantastic way to resolve a range of conflicts between people. The American Arbitration Association estimates 85% of mediation cases end in successful settlements. If you and your to-be ex-spouse have chosen mediation to reach a common ground for your divorce, you’ve made the right choice. Mediation will likely save you the typical financial and emotional stress associated with nasty divorce cases in court. Hopefully, this article has provided the right tips to help you go beyond to get yourself the most suitable family mediator near you to meet your needs and expectations.