In the State of Missouri, there is no certification or licensure process that a mediator must go through to become a mediator. A mediator must do 16-40 hours of training depending on the type of mediation they wish to practice. So, you must do some vetting all on your own. The good news is we have some tips and thoughts to help you find a mediator in St. Charles!
Look for someone with some form of qualifications. These qualifications should make sense, such as a degree or career in social work, counseling, or psychology or a law degree with a practice in the same type of dispute that you are looking to settle. We recommend you hire a mediator who is also a lawyer. This background makes sense and it’s obvious why someone with this type of knowledge would be a good pick. Most county courts have a list of mediators that you can request along with their hourly rates.
A mediator should always have a good grip on the divorce laws in your state as well as experience with the Judge’s your case could be in front of. This will save you a lot of heartache in the long run. I mean, it’s always better to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about, right? Anything else will be an epic waste of time.
Here are some questions you should ask your mediator:
How long have you been doing mediations?
What is the process? What is the general cost? (Don’t expect an exact figure, as that can vary from case to case, but a general idea is helpful.
How many cases have you handled in this area of law?
How do you keep up on changing laws?
What is your experience with the Judges in the county my case may be in?
How often do you settle a case?
These questions should be easy for a mediator or their staff to answer. If they get defensive or skirt the questions, look elsewhere.
References are important! If you are starting with mediation, ask your mediator for references and CALL THEM! Now, they will not likely give you the names of past clients, but they should be able to give you names of attorneys who have worked with them before. If you are represented by an attorney, the attorney should be able to refer you to mediators they have had positive experiences with who they think are right for your case. Mediators should have working relationships with many attorneys, and attorneys should be able to detect when a mediator has served the clients well or screwed it up. If your mediator cannot give you attorney reference, look elsewhere for a mediator.
As always, we know how important a healthy and smart support team is for folks facing divorce. We keep smart relationships with a wide variety of people who can serve you well. Ask for what you need, we’ve got resources!
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