To find mediators, check your state’s bar association website, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association, Association of Attorney-Mediators or simply perform an Internet search. If you have legal representation, give the list of proposed mediators to your attorney to review. If you are pro se (representing yourself) then call the mediator to discuss their availability and costs.
When you are doing your research, review their resume. Your mediator should have significant experience both as a mediator and in divorce law. An understanding of both is necessary to help parties reach a settlement.
Ask for a list of references, and discuss the mediator with those references.
What percentage of divorce cases has the mediator settled? How many mediations has the mediator handled? Does the mediator get appointments from the courts? The more, the better.
Some mediators will offer their opinions as to the consequences of certain settlement terms, and others will allow the parties to reach conclusions by themselves. Think about which of these styles you prefer. Each mediator has a different style of mediation – no two are alike.
What additional experience does your mediator have? If you have a custody battle, see if there are mediators with experience as a attorney ad Litem. Such insight can greatly assist the parties in reaching settlement.
Does the mediator regularly attend courses on mediation? Does the mediator train other mediators? Does the mediator belong to any professional mediator associations? If so, he will be able to offer an abundance of advice and solutions. How much mediation training has the mediator had? Anyone in Texas that completes the basic mediation training can use the term mediator.
What are the mediator’s fees? It will be necessary to choose one that works for the budgets of both you and your spouse. Fees are set by each mediator and can vary dramatically. How many mediations does the mediator schedule per day? If the mediator schedules several mediations per day then your time is going to be extremely limited.
Ask how the mediator will approach any “dead ends.” If you feel that the mediator may try to force a settlement, look elsewhere.
Finally, is your mediator credentialed in Texas? There is no licensing of mediators in Texas. Look on the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association or the Association of Attorney-Mediators for mediators that have fulfilled the association’s membership requirements.