What questions should I ask before I hire a mediator?

You may want to ask questions in addition to those on this list. Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions; you have the right to interview someone you might hire. The more information you have, the more likely you will feel comfortable with your final choice of mediator. If you are comfortable with the mediator, you are more likely to feel comfortable during the mediation session.

To ensure that the mediator is and will be neutral you can ask:

  • ♦    Do you know the other person involved in this conflict socially, professionally or any other way?
  • ♦    Do you have any financial ties to any of the people involved in the dispute?
  • ♦    Have you ever done mediation for that person?
  • ♦    Have you ever done any other kind of work for the other person?
  • ♦    Would you ever do work for that person after the mediation is over?
  • Does your employer or organization do any work for the other person?

Mediators have different styles and practices. You can ask:

  • ♦    Do you work alone or with another mediator? If they work in pairs be sure to ask how they charge.
  • ♦    Which mediator code of ethics do you follow and will you send me a copy?
  • ♦    Do you schedule the mediation sessions based on my particular situation?
  • ♦    Can you handle any special physical needs I have and how?
  • ♦    How will you handle it if I want to have a support person with me?
  • ♦    How do you conduct mediation sessions?
  • ♦   Do you give an orientation and what does it include?
  • ♦    Do we sign an agreement to mediate and if so, can I have a copy before mediation?
  • ♦    Do you encourage parties to talk directly with one another?
  • ♦    Do you keep us in separate rooms?
  • ♦    Do you ever talk separately with either person in a private meeting during mediation? If so, why and how?
  • ♦    How do you decide when to talk separately with each person?
  • ♦    Do you write up mediated agreements?
  • ♦    If you do not write up mediated agreements, how do I go about getting my agreement written?

Marc P. Feldman’s Divorce Mediation Center of New Jersey serves clients in Parsippany, Morristown, Morris Township, Morris Plains, Dover, Rockaway, Roxbury, ,Madison, Florham Park, Chester, Boonton, Chatham, Denville, Hanover, Florham Park, Kinnelon, Mendham, Mount Olive and all of Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Somerset County, and Union County, New Jersey.

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