How do I choose the right mediator for me?
May 14, 2019
It is important that you do some research before you choose your mediator. First, look at what the Mediator’s qualifications are. Some Mediators are accredited with different provincial bodies and others are not. Your Mediator may also have a different educational background. If the issues that you want to mediate are primarily parenting issues, you may seek a Mediator that specializes in social work, psychology, or psychiatry, particularly if there are mental issues involved. There are, however, also Mediators who do not have a formal parenting background, but who frequently successfully mediate complicated parenting issues. This is particularly the case when those issues may involve significant legal issues and you want a Mediator to understand what an outcome is likely to be in court.
It is important that you seek out references from your Mediator. These can be other lawyers or clients that have met with the mediator in the past. This can give you a sense of the Mediator’s style and their particular way they conduct mediation.
Mediators often have different styles. You need to pick a Mediator with a style that is helpful to you and makes you comfortable, but is also a style that your spouse will be comfortable with. For example, if you hire a Mediator that is very evaluative and takes a legal approach, but your spouse would prefer someone who considers his or her interest and not just the law, you may not have the right fit. A Mediator may also have a style that is very persuasive, and this is helpful to getting to an end result. You want a mediator that is someone that is comfortable for both of you. It will do little to help your case if you insist on a Mediator against your spouse’s wishes and then your spouse is unable to come to a resolution. Finally, you must consider the costs of the Mediator. Mediators range in costs from an hourly rate of $300.00 and up. The costs are generally shared equally between the parties. Mediators will provide you with a Mediation Agreement that sets out the terms of their retainer in advance. There are plenty of qualified Mediators at any price point. Decide whether you need a Mediator with specialized expertise at a higher hourly rate or whether you may be able to find a reasonably priced alternative.