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How to choose the right mediator

Pennsylvania couples who are getting a divorce and who plan to go through mediation may have heard a lot about how to choose a mediator. Those tips could include choosing someone who is experienced and trained in the field. However, there is one critical factor that many of those tips do not mention. The couple must trust the person that is retained.

This begins on the fundamental level of how the mediator explains the process, including fees and expectations. Furthermore, a mediator should have a strong sense of the process and of different approaches. Because a divorce can feel chaotic, having a mediator with a grounded framework may feel important.

Mediators also must balance their impartiality with caring about the feelings of their clients. Objectivity during the process does not mean an emotional coldness is necessary. A mediator can treat each person with kindness and empathy without also siding with that person. A good mediator should be committed to reaching a solution that, as much as possible, serves the wants and needs of both people ending the relationship.

Mediation can be an excellent solution for a couple who would like to avoid the time and expense of litigation, and it may also result in a better outcome. Because the point of mediation is problem solving, even couples who have considerable conflict around issues such as the division of property and debt may benefit from mediation. Couples who are unable to agree on all points during mediation might still be able to reach an agreement on some, and the points that they do not agree upon can then be decided by a judge. People also need to realize that they are still entitled to have the advice and counsel of a family law attorney during the process.

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