The main component or ingredient of mediation is the mediator.
They are a central figure in helping you resolve your dispute by providing a neutral forum to have frank and open discussions. That is why it’s important to make sure you select the right mediator to help you in your unique situation. Many times mediators are chosen by the lawyers, but often include the clients being in a position to choose the mediator alongside their counsel.
Below is a shortlist with some items you will want to know before you settle on the mediator:
- Subject matter: What is the experience of the mediator on the subject matter specific to your case? For example: Does the mediator have child development knowledge? Does she/he have family law experience in dealing with parenting plans?
- Mediator style: Does she or he use a facilitative style, or are they more passive?
- Education: How much training have they had? Do they have any certifications, like a Certified Divorce Mediator or Chartered Mediator?
- Setting: Where does the mediator like to hold the meditation sessions, in their office over Zoom or hybrid?
- Cost: What are the mediator’s rates? If hourly, is there a minimum charge? How do you pay the fees?
- Results: What do you expect from the mediator?
It takes time to find the right mediator, and you should resist the temptation to just go with the first one you meet. It is important that you have rapport with the mediator- if you do not – do not hesitate to ask the mediator for other referrals to other skilled mediators.