Are you wondering how to find a good divorce mediator?
Here are some things to look out for when you’re looking to hire a divorce mediator in Perth or anywhere in Australia.
Family Dispute Resolution Register
The easiest way to find a divorce mediator is simply to check the Australian Family Dispute Resolution Register, https://www.fdrr.ag.gov.au/.
Word Of Mouth
Another way to find a good divorce mediator is through word-of-mouth. You may know a friend or family member who has been divorced through mediation and could provide you with first-hand information.
Referrals could also be obtained from a trusted adviser. Having a mediator recommended by someone you trust is by far the best way to find a good divorce mediator.
The next best option would be to learn from the experience of others. This is made easy by the numerous online reviews that are freely accessible on the various online or social media platforms we have at our disposal these days, such as Google Reviews.
But remember to sometimes take reviews with a pinch of salt – there are those out there who do not always reveal the full story in their reviews and it can also be difficult for some clients who value their privacy to want to leave a public review.
A good divorce mediator will usually be able to refer you to happy clients privately if you wish to find out more about a particular mediator.
Specialist Legal Knowledge
It’s important to choose a divorce mediator who will be the best fit for you and your unique set of circumstances. Good and successful divorce mediators are skilled and experienced in handling complex legal and financial matters, splitting of property, as well as emotional family and parenting matters.
That been said, if you feel your divorce could turn out into a hotly disputed and complex affair, a divorce mediator who has acquired additional specialised knowledge will be beneficial to both parties.
If your main points of contention are of a financial nature it is sensible to choose a mediator who has much experience in these areas.
Registered and Experienced
Mediators are registered and accredited under various standards including the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008. Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners must be accredited by the Federal Attorney General’s Department and must have a sound legal knowledge and are trained and experienced in resolving family disputes. They are also bound by strict ethical and confidentiality rules and will not divulge any information disclosed by either party during the mediation sessions.
The National Mediators Accreditation Scheme (NMAS) also regulates accreditation of mediators and lists of NMAS authorised mediators can be found on their website.
The Resolution Institute also has an accreditation system which can be accessed at their website.
You can often find out a potential mediator’s credentials, experience and rate of success, by simply asking them.
Encourages Outside Legal Advice Where Necessary
Mediators do not represent either party in the mediation process. They are completely impartial, offering legal information and guidance equally to both parties, enabling them to negotiate with each other, make their own decisions, and eventually reach a fair and amicable settlement that they can both live with.
Although getting additional family law advice is not a legal requirement in family dispute resolution, a good divorce mediator will encourage outside legal advice if it appears to be appropriate for either party. Both parties may choose to have their own family lawyer present throughout the mediation process for an extra layer of protection. Parties may also be encouraged to have the final agreement checked over by their own lawyers before signing it.
Probably the best way of knowing whether a mediator is the right one for you, is to go with your gut-feel and choose one who quickly establishes a level of trust. You will often be able to sense this from your very first consultation. Go and meet them – there should be no charge for this.
Did they show a genuine concern about your family? Did they sound caring, knowledgeable and fair to you both? Did they encourage or discourage you from seeking outside legal advice? Did you and your ex feel comfortable talking to them?
There is no substitute or certification for trust – when it’s there, you will see it.
If you want to find a good divorce mediator in Perth, you’re in the right place. Ian Shann has over 20 years of experience as in family mediation in Perth, and has even written a book about it!
Get in touch for a confidential discussion about your divorce today – 0418 928 448.