Research mediators before you hire

Virtually anyone can hang out their shingle, take your money, and hear about the intimate and confidential details of your life—without any mediation training whatsoever. Many states have no laws, mandates, or regulations in place to monitor mediators or hold them accountable.

How can this be? Maybe it’s because mediation has only recently gained real traction. Mediation as an alternative to litigation or other forms of dispute resolution has gained tremendous popularity.

Mediation offers a perfectly balanced alternative to litigation: it’s affordable, confidential, and achieves results.

With demand for mediation growing, more and more people are offering mediation services, but regulations have not caught up. So, buyer beware. Don’t just rely on whether a prospective mediator has a J.D., a Ph.D., an LLM—or any number of other alphabet soup credentials after his or her name.

Ask questions such as:

- Have you completed a basic mediation course? Advanced courses in family mediation?

- Are you accredited in basic mediation, family mediation, and/or any other areas?

- What firm, agency, or organization is your certification from?

Divorce is never easy, even with mediation. But the more prepared you are, the more productive your mediation will be. Remember to stay flexible during the process. You’ll be surprised by how often what you thought you wanted early on changes over time.