The idea of getting a divorce is obviously not the most thrilling of topics. The daunting task in front of you and your spouse can seem overwhelming and at times nearly impossible to handle. Hiring the right person or team to help get you through this confusing time is imperative and will either make or break the entire process for you and your family. That being said, let’s take some time to evaluate the qualifications that make up a great divorce mediation team.
The number one role of a divorce mediator is to assist you in developing a mutually beneficial agreement between you and your spouse. The goal is to be able to use their skills to communicate effectively between the both of you in a productive and fair manner. Do you feel comfortable with your mediator? A good mediator will take the time to initiate some of the following steps:
- manage the mediation process from start to finish in an organized and thoughtful manner.
- promote cooperative behavior between both parties, making sure to always be fair and hear both sides.
- understand and navigate conflict well.
- demonstrate good listening skills and exhibit a non-judgmental point of view.
If you are already noticing some of these qualities in a potential divorce mediator that you are considering hiring, congratulations – you are already off to a great start! But lets zero in on some of these skills to see what else should be in the makings of a mediation hero.
Another sign that you have found a great mediator is when you notice that they have a knack for compartmentalizing the major issues. Chances are that it has been a while since you and your spouse have seen eye to eye on perhaps even several major issues that affect the entire family. If your mediator immediately displays the ability to break down some of these major issues into smaller, more manageable issues – chances are that you have someone who can really help move the process along swiftly and more cost effectively.
Another issue that couples face is when one spouse might be more outspoken or communicative then the other. This never helps when dealing with mediation, because the idea behind mediation obviously is to move forward swiftly and in a fair way for both parties. Both spouses need to be able to communicate their needs in an effective way, and any good divorce mediator is going to notice this about a couple and do what they can to ensure both parties are given fair time and respect during the entire process. An excellent mediator will not only make sure both sides are speaking up, but they will be able to encourage openness and will ask pertinent questions to ensure both clients are being heard in an effective way.
And now, the “C” word: CONFLICT. Chances are, you and your spouse may or may not be good at handling it. One thing is for sure- your divorce mediator should be great at dealing with it. The two major ways that people tend to deal with conflict is either through aggression or complete avoidance. Unfortunately, neither one of these coping mechanisms will help your divorce get over with any faster. A good divorce mediator not only knows how to recognize conflict but he or she will have experience or training in dealing with it in a very effective and professional way. This may be a good question to ask them, what is their educational background and does any of it have to deal with conflict resolution? After all, you and your spouse are not there getting a divorce because everything is all peaches and cream. You need someone who knows how to deal with the hard parts of you working through this divorce, so make sure that the divorce mediator that you and your spouse choose has the ability to put both you and your spouse at ease.
Last but not least, how much is your potential divorce mediator seem to want to help your situation? Are they willing to give you as much free information as possible? Do they offer a free initial consultation, and do they seem attentive and ready to get to work for you? There are always a lot of options in hiring someone who can mediate your divorce proceedings, always make sure you hire someone who is ready to focus on getting you and your spouse to a happy and productive place as soon as possible. That is when you know you have found a great divorce mediator.