Mediation involves parties to a dispute coming together in a neutral setting to discuss issues and work through conflict resolution. During mediation, the mediator helps keep both sides focused, explore possible solutions, stay on track and clarify areas of agreement and disagreement. Mediation is typically conducted outside of the court system and costs less than a traditional trial or arbitration. A mediated agreement can be drafted by the mediator and signed by both parties. Some states require specific qualifications to mediate a case, including training and experience. Some courts, community organizations and private mediators may offer a free or reduced fee service for family cases.

When choosing a mediator, consider their communication skills and how they have successfully helped others resolve conflicts. It is also important to choose a mediator who can remain neutral and impartial throughout the mediation process. Some mediators specialize in certain types of disputes, such as divorce or workplace conflicts. It is also helpful to find a mediator who has a background in legal or social services.

A good way to find a mediator is to ask for recommendations from people who have used one in the past or through word-of-mouth. You can also use online resources to search for a mediator, such as a website that lists them by state or city. Many of these sites allow you to filter your search by state, zip code radius (in miles) and/or specialties, such as domestic violence, elder abuse or substance abuse.

While all mediators have to start somewhere, it is important to ensure the person you choose has enough experience to handle your case. Specifically, if you have children and/or significant assets to deal with in your divorce, it is advisable to choose a mediator who has handled these types of cases before. It is important that the mediator understands all of the complexities involved in divorce, especially regarding child support, property division (referred to as equitable distribution in some jurisdictions) and alimony.

It is also important to consider whether the mediator does divorce and family mediation full-time, or if they have another primary career or occupation that they mediate as a secondary activity. It is not uncommon for mediators to do this, but if you are looking for a person with extensive experience in family and divorce-related matters, this may be an important consideration.

It is also useful to determine how much litigation experience the mediator has, since that will give you some insight into their level of comfort with addressing contested issues. It is also a good idea to know what type of law school the mediator attended, as this may affect how they approach legal issues in mediation. The final thing to look for in a mediator is their training and experience in dealing with family and divorce-related matters. While there is some risk to becoming a mediator, it is often easier and cheaper than going to court. mediators near me