If you’ve recently separated, you might be looking at how to divorce quickly and without having to pay many thousands of dollars in legal fees. One way to move on from your marriage is by using a divorce mediator – but you might be wondering how do I choose a divorce mediator.
Here are some tips from Ian Shann, divorce mediator in Perth, from Move On Mediation on how to choose a divorce mediator to help you through your divorce.
The Role Of A Divorce Mediator
Most people don’t know where to start when it comes to hiring a divorce mediator – usually it’s the first time anyone has had this experience – so choosing the right mediator can be tricky.
Before you start, it’s important to know exactly what the role of a divorce mediator is.
Unlike a divorce lawyer, who is trained to fight to win at all costs, a divorce mediator is a completely independent and neutral party who will not take sides in your case.
A good divorce mediator will give objective and fair information to both parties. They will not make decisions for you but, instead, empower you both with valuable information, guiding you to make your own decisions and reach an amicable agreement at mediation.
How To Find A Divorce Mediator
In today’s digital world, finding anything or anyone has never been easier.
It may be best, however, to have a divorce mediator recommended by someone you trust or by someone who has used one – successfully. You could also check the Family Dispute Resolution Register for someone in your local area.
How To Choose The Right Divorce Mediator
First and foremost, good divorce mediators remain fair and impartial at all times. They are not there to lay blame for what has happened, but to resolve conflicts and find solutions. If at any stage you feel the mediator is being biased, walk away immediately and find someone else. You have the right to withdraw at any time you wish.
A good mediator should have a sound legal knowledge to inform you generally how the law will be applied to your circumstances. Although this may reduce the need for you to have your own lawyer, you can choose to have the agreement reviewed by a family lawyer, giving you an added layer of protection prior to signing any agreement. Be wary if your mediator discourages you from seeking outside legal advice.
A good mediator will not only have to be knowledgeable about complex financial matters and property issues, but also understand emotional family and parenting matters, particularly where young children are involved. The best way to find out your prospective mediator’s credentials, is simply to ask them about their training and certifications, how long have they been practising, the rate of success, etc.
Divorce mediation is far less costly than full on litigation; but it can still be a costly affair if you don’t get the mediator’s pricing structure upfront.
Some mediators – like Move On Mediation – charge a fixed fee while others may charge by the hour. It is advisable to clarify costs prior to commencing. You can also book a meeting to discuss your circumstances prior to starting mediation.
After an initial consultation, you may feel whether the mediator is the right one for you.
What was the mediator’s approach? Did he or she show a genuine caring concern for the whole family? And now, the big question! Are you both comfortable that the mediator knows their stuff, will be fair and is someone you can trust?
If so, then choosing a divorce mediator will be the first agreement you and ex make – and that is always a positive start.
Ian Shann is the principal mediator and director of Move On.
He has helped hundreds of separating couples in Perth to divorce quickly, amicably and affordably.
To find out whether Ian is the right divorce mediator for you, get in touch today.