It is important to choose the right mediator for you and your particular dispute. Mediators vary in experience, language proficiency, subject matter expertise, style, fees, communication, and level of involvement. For example, some mediators are able to speak fluently in different languages or have knowledge in certain family law disputes (e.g., animal ownership disputes). Some mediators do “virtual mediation” while others do not. It is important to be thorough during the consultation process to get an honest understanding of the process.
Referrals may be the most effective method in locating a qualified mediator in a particular area. People seeking mediators should request referrals from his or her attorney or other professionals (e.g., accountant, financial advisor). If you are unable to get a quality lead through referrals sources, then professional mediation associations throughout the State of New York may be contacted (e.g., New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York). Various bar associations throughout the state also offer referral programs (e.g., New York State Bar Association, Association for the Bar for the City of New York, New York County Lawyers Association).
Additionally, every county in New York has its own Community Dispute Resolution Center (“CDRC”) that can mediate some limited areas of family law disputes. A list of programs is available at https://www.nycourts.gov/ip/adr/ProgramList.shtml. There are also other community organizations that offer mediation services for various family law disputes.
This is an excerpt from my new book “Onward and Upward: Guide for Getting Through New York Divorce & Family Law Issues” available on Amazon, Kindle and iBooks. This except is from my Chapter on Mediation. I am a trained mediator for divorce, child custody and visitation disputes, and commercial mediation. The book is chalk full of great advice on a myriad of family law issues ranging from prenups, child custody disputes, and divorce/annulments. The book’s special sauce is that it has over 48 authors, including many nonlawyer authors, writing on both legal and nonlegal topics. More info on the book can be found here.