Traits to Look For When Hiring a Professional Mediator – 2024 Guide

If you are on the lookout for a professional mediator to assist you in resolving your family law dispute with your ex, you need to know what traits to look for. These professional negotiators and diplomats are as varied in their expertise, experience and work ethic as any other group – so you need to be careful about where you spend your money.

Because the breakdown of marital relationships is so complex and emotionally stressful, the last thing you want is to end up hiring a professional mediator who, rather than helping, further obfuscates matters. Keep in mind the following traits and make sure your professional mediator possesses them.

1. Calm, collected and punctual

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When you engage a professional mediator, you should expect them to exude an aura of calm authority where they help you and your ex reach a practical compromise, you could follow up like some famous people. It’s their job to take charge of negotiations and ensure that you are both given an equal chance to argue and counter-argue in a respectable way so that a fair conclusion can be reached.

If they aren’t behaving like someone you can trust, you don’t want to work with that practitioner. It’s even worse if they are being sloppy with appointment times and generally unreliable. They are meant to be calm and collected so that they can lead the process when you and your ex are unable to focus.

2. A focus on the well-being of children

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Children are often the worst-affected victims of a divorce and are caught in the crossfire between vindictive and bitter parents. Naturally, the focus of any professional mediator you speak to should be the guaranteed welfare of any children that are in the relationship.

This is important as a point of commonality between you, your ex and the professional mediator you have hired. While you may all have different views on other aspects of the divorce, all 3 of you should be able to agree that you want what is optimal for the children (the arguments start when you try to determine what ‘optimal’ means).

An optimal upbringing for any child should include a healthy relationship with both parents and access to education. Often, the parent who has more free time to actively raise the children is more appropriate to have custody.

3. Experience and expertise

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Of course, you need to ensure the professional mediator such as you choose to hire has the adequate experience and expertise to handle the task you present them with. It’s entirely possible for you to end up engaging someone with little experience who is unable to help either of you find common ground and just makes everything worse.

It would be terrible if you engaged a professional mediator, hoping they would help you find a way out of the mess you’re in, only for them to end up being totally incompetent. It’s essential that you engage the right candidate from the start so that you avoid this kind of disappointment and costly delay.

4. Recommendations

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Another good way to determine the quality of a professional mediator you are thinking about hiring is to look at the past reviews and testimonials there are for them. It shouldn’t be hard for you to find a write-up or two about the practitioner and what working with them was like (and whether or not they could achieve a good outcome).