December 14, 2017

How to Select a Family Law Mediator in Arizona

1.     Look At The Mediator’s Training. In Arizona, there are no regulations on who can call him/herself a mediator.  Quite literally, anyone can wake up one morning and start holding him/herself out as a mediator.  If a mediator has not at least taken a 40 hour or longer course in mediation, do not use that person as your mediator.  Good and committed mediators usually have taken additional courses to improve their skill sets.

2. Do Not Select A Mediator Based on Price. Skilled Mediators usually charge around $250.00 an hour.  If you find a mediator charging much less, be suspicious.  As with all things in life, you get what you pay for.

3. Determine If You Need A Mediator With A Specific Skill Set. In a number of mediations, it does not matter if your mediator has specific knowledge about the facts and law surrounding your dispute.  After all, the mediator does not decide who is right and who is wrong.  The mediator instead uses conflict resolution skills to help the parties resolve the dispute.  However, if you are looking for a more evaluative mediator (one who helps the parties determine the merit to their positions), then it is important that the mediator understands the legal issues.  Also, it would be difficult for a mediator who is not a family law attorney to resolve a family law case because a family law mediator should be familiar with the issues that need to be resolved and, for example, help the parties run calculations for child support.

4.     Examine The Convenience Factor. While convenience is a lot less important that a mediator’s ability, look at such factors as: (1) how quickly can the mediator schedule appointments; (2) is the mediator willing to meet with you before or after normal business hours if necessary; and (3) is the mediator willing to submit the paperwork to the Court for you, where appropriate.

Alona M. Gottfried is a mediator and attorney in Arizona.  If you have questions about mediation, she can be reached at: 480-998-1500 or alona@sglawaz.com.  This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be legal advice.  See a legal professional before making legal decisions.

Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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This is a general interest website only and is not intended to be legal advice. See a legal professional before making legal decisions.