By Allison Quattrocchi, Mediator (retired) and
Joy Borum, Mediator
When choosing a mediator, focus on what mediation training and life experience the individual has had, not on whether the mediator is a lawyer, counselor, or former judge. Don’t assume because someone is an attorney or has been practicing family law or has been a judge that they know how to mediate. Mediation skills are not the same as those required for practicing law or making decisions from the bench. These distinctions are sometimes not understood by legal practitioners or former judicial officers who decide to add mediatior to their resumes.
If you want your mediator to draft the court documents for you, you may prefer a mediator who is an attorney or is licensed as a Document Preparer. Most mediators provide a courtesy (free) session to explain their process to you. Mediator styles and the types of process offered may vary so you may want to interview a few mediators to choose the person with whom you feel the most comfortable and one who is the best fit for your situation. Fees generally can range from $150 to $400+ an hour. The higher rates usually reflect the most efficient, knowledgeable, and experienced mediators.
Some questions to ask: