Do you know what to look for in a divorce mediator? Careful consideration should be used in the selection process. Don’t be tempted to pick a name from an open phone book or website. Begin your search by asking counselors, attorneys or individuals who have successfully engaged in the mediation process. Inquire as to whether the mediator was helpful, timely, efficient, and whether she/he accurately recorded information in a final written agreement.
Once you have some names to mull over, be sure that you consider the mediator’s function, experience, abilities, style, and price, in order to manage expectations throughout the mediation process.
- Understanding the mediator’s function. The mediator’s function is to assist the involved parties in identifying issues and to work with both parties to reach an agreement on those issues. The mediator does not have decision-making authority, does not represent either party, and therefore, does not review the agreement and its terms from the perspective of either party. The mediator is a facilitator. Independent counsel should be retained by both parties in order to determine whether the agreement addresses all important issues, and if not, to make suggestions for modification of that document. The mediator who makes the suggestion that an agreement be executed without this process, is doing a disservice to the parties.
- Inquire about the mediator’s training and experience. Choose a mediator who has significant experience in the family law arena, as well as significant litigation experience with family law matters. A mediator who has significant experience with a myriad of situations is a better choice for your family law matter.
- Select a mediator who is able to draft an agreement for you. It can sometimes be difficult to transport the substance of an agreement to another attorney and to have that attorney draft the parties’ understanding. If you are working with a mediator who will write an agreement for you, chances are the process will be more efficient, and your document will be more accurate.
Linda Sorg Ostovitz at Offit Kurman, P.A., deals with family law matters and provides mediation services backed by a wealth of family law experience. Contact me to schedule mediation at email@example.com
ABOUT LINDA SORG OSTOVITZ
Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 120 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eight offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Northern Virginia markets, as well as the Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City metropolitan areas. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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