You and your spouse are considering a divorce. Actually, you’ve made up your minds that a divorce is the best answer, but you don’t want the expense or the drawn out process of splitting up your marriage. If this is the case in your situation, you may want to think more about mediation as an option. If you and your spouse can agree to be civil and divorce somewhat amicably, mediation is an excellent tool.
But how do you find the right mediator? Just like you wouldn’t want a criminal defense lawyer that focuses on white collar crime defending you in a traffic case, you don’t want a mediator who concentrates on something other than divorce law. Here are some tips on what you should be looking for.
1. Decide if Hiring an Attorney
You and your spouse have the option of hiring an attorney to assist with the mediation process and to represent you during any mediation. There does not need to be a filed case in order to participate in a mediation. Having an attorney is effective in order to ensure your rights are protected and that you do not sign any documents that may not be in your best interests. Attorneys are also able to coordinate and select the appropriate mediator to ensure there is a neutral process.
2. Divorce is Their Specialty
You want a mediator who concentrates on divorce. You don’t want a person who routinely mediates business disputes. Yes, they can legally offer you their services, but you have to ask yourself if they are really going to be effective for your purposes.
Divorce mediators concentrate on divorce law. That means they understand both local and state laws, they have experience in assisting divorcing couples, and they can help you navigate any potential trouble before it occurs. If you hire an attorney, the attorney will usually handle the selection and coordination of the mediator. If you and your spouse are attempting mediation without attorneys, then find several divorce mediators and interview each. This is a personal process, and you should feel comfortable with the person you choose.
3. Find a Stranger
Your brother’s best-friend’s father may be an excellent divorce mediator, but you don’t want to use him. You want to find a neutral party. Don’t use a mediator that you or your spouse have any potential ties to, no matter how weak those ties are. Both of you should feel confident that the mediator is not biased toward either party.
4. Focus on Confidentiality
Imagine you and your spouse airing your dirty laundry in front of a mediator, only to hear what you thought was said behind closed doors come from the mouth of someone you know. Confidentiality is incredibly important in divorce mediation. You have the right to ask that everyone involved, including the mediator, signs a confidentiality agreement.
Divorce is not an easy process, and no one will tell you different. Even the most amicable divorces are wrought with emotion and stress. If you choose to go the mediation route, you should look for a mediator with as much diligence as you would choose an attorney or other legal professional.
If you would like assistance with divorce mediation in Orlando, we invite you to contact our office. We provide representation in divorce mediations to local couples and have extensive experience doing so. We would be happy to discuss your needs with you during an initial meeting and help you throughout the divorce mediation process. Call our office today to arrange your consultation.