Questions to Ask Your Mediator before You Begin Mediation
Once you and your spouse have determined that you are a good fit for divorce mediation, you need to find a mediator who is a good fit for you. In order to find the right mediator for your case, you will need to do some research. Look up divorce mediators in your area and read their reviews online. Schedule a consultation with a few mediators to get a better sense of each of their approaches to the mediation process and how they can help you. Arrive at each consultation with the following questions prepared:
What Will It Cost to Work with You?
The average divorce mediation costs $7,000. That might sound like a lot, but compare it to the average cost of divorce litigation: $25,000 or more.
Ask your prospective mediator what it will cost to work with him or her before you sign a contract to work together. He or she should be able to give you a reasonable quote that you can compare with other mediators’ costs.
How Do You Conduct Mediation Sessions?
Some mediators complete their clients’ divorces in one day over the course of a few hours. Others prefer to break up the process over multiple, shorter sessions. The right mediator for you and your spouse is a mediator who works in a way that is comfortable for you. Talk about your ideal mediation process with your spouse before you meet with mediators, then use this as a guideline for choosing your mediator.
Are You a Divorce Lawyer?
Many divorce mediators are also divorce lawyers. A law degree is not required to practice divorce mediation, though.
Even if your mediator is also a divorce lawyer, he or she will not be acting as a lawyer during your mediation. Having a law degree can help him or her guide your conversations and discuss legal issues with you, but it is important to remember that your mediator should only draw upon his or her legal experience to provide general information, not to represent you or your spouse specifically.
What Are Your Strategies for Handling Disagreements Between Spouses?
You and your spouse most likely will not agree on everything. Ask your mediator how he or she helps divorcing couples work through disagreements – does he or she step back and let them work it out together, or does he or she take a more hands-on approach and offer compromises and alternative resolutions? Your mediator’s role is not to make decisions for you, but to enable you to make fair decisions with your spouse. Mediators can take different approaches to this part of their role.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering filing for divorce, consider completing the process through mediation. Couples who choose mediation can save money and preserve their amicable relationship by avoiding the stresses of the courtroom. To learn more, schedule your initial consultation with experienced Kane County divorce lawyer Matthew Shaw at Shaw Family Law, P.C. today. Call us at 630-584-5550 for help.