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6 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Mediator


Summary:  The selection of the mediator is critical to the outcome of a mediation. Colorado does not license or certify mediators. Be careful of claimed certifications and claimed client testimonials. Do your homework and choose wisely.


The Most Important Things to Look for in a Mediator

The selection of the mediator is one of the most important decisions in your mediation case. Colorado does not license or certify mediators. In Colorado, anyone can call themselves a mediator. Be careful of private certifications which are generally available for purchase. Do your own homework. You want at least 5 things from your mediator:

  • Expertise and experience in Colorado divorce and family law and related areas;
  • Good attitude, persistence, skill, and fairness as to mediation and negotiation abilities;
  • Signed written settlement agreement or memorandum of understanding (get it done); and
  • A budget for fees; and
  • Someone you are comfortable with.

The 6 Most Important Questions to Ask When Selecting a Mediator

You have to ask the right questions and be choosy about who you hire to mediate your case. Meet with at least two potential mediators. Before you meet with them, prepare your case by completing the prospective mediator's questionnaire. Or, at least do your own written summary of your case and know what your objectives are.

Here are the 6 most important lines of questions to ask at the first interview (or on the phone):

  • What should our goals be in this case? What should we expect as an outcome?
  • What is your process as to how we are going to get the case done?
  • How do you handle high conflict?
  • How will you provide legal information (and case evaluation)?
  • How will we get our legal documents for court filing completed and signed?
  • What is your budget for total fees, including your fees and fees for outside help?

The best way to decide who to hire as a mediator is to find someone you are comfortable with. Someone who knows where you should be going and how you will get there. Make sure that the mediator can also provide legal information so that you can make informed decisions.

Be careful of claims of private certifications. Since Colorado does not license or certify mediators, private certifications are available for purchase. Private certifications help prospective mediators market their services, However, that will not help you.

And forget about self-serving testimonials and endorsements by former clients. Unless they can be verified through telephone contact. Anyone can write them for their own benefit and entertainment. And they do.

GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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