Due to the overwhelming Family Court caseload, mediation has become a definitive component in the divorce process.

In order to be placed on the Maricopa County mediation roster, a candidate must have two years of experience in family court as a court official, Judge Pro Tempore or a minimum of two years of experience in family mediation. This candidate must also present a certificate from an approved 40-hour training course. A law degree is not required, yet most court-appointed mediators are lawyers who volunteer their time to serve as a mediator for the Court to help reduce the backlog.

Private mediators can hold degrees or experience in a variety of different fields, such as business, psychology, social work, etc. The benefits of this variety are that it allows you to choose your mediator based on the issues presented in your case.

For example, if your divorce includes a lot of assets or sophisticated financial issues, it might be best to choose a mediator that has a lot of finance experience or a degree in business. If your dispute is solely about issues relating to your children, you would be better off choosing a mediator that is a social worker or psychologist.

When choosing a mediator, it is important to do your research about their credentials, experience and background. You want to know both the educational and professional background of the mediator, as well as how many cases they have had and their success rate.

Another component you may be interested in learning is the style or approach a mediator may use during the session. Many use a combination, but the three main styles are facilitative, transformative and evaluative.

Mediation provides the parties the most control they are going to have over the outcome of their case. Through mediation you can create detailed agreements that are specific to the issues you are facing, it’s not a one size fits all. Choosing the mediator that is right for your case is an important decision and knowing the mediator’s credentials and background is key.

If you are considering mediation to resolve a pending dispute and you would like to work with one of our experienced divorce attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at(480) 994-8824 to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.