Family Focused. Solution Oriented.

Resolving family law matters while preserving family relationships.

How to Select Your Mediator

by | Nov 26, 2017 | Mediation

At a minimum, a mediator must be qualified under the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code by completing a minimum of 40 classroom hours of dispute resolution training by an organization approved by the court. If the case involves the parent-child relationship, he or she must also have completed an additional 24 hours of training in the fields of family dynamics, child development, and family law.

Here are some questions to ask to determine if the mediator is appropriate for your case:

  • Is the mediator a credentialed mediator by the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association?
  • If no, why not? If yes, what credentialing designation does the mediator have: Candidate for Credentialed Mediator, Credentialed Mediator, Credentialed Advanced Mediator or the highest designation, Credentialed Distinguished Mediator?
  • Why is credentialing important? The higher the credentialing designation, the more mediation experience a mediator must have annually. Additionally, there is a continuing mediation education requirement of 15 hours each year, of which 10 hours must be on mediation topics and 3 of which must be related to mediation/negotiation ethics. Five hours may be substantive course material.
  • Do you really want a mediator who met the minimum qualifications years ago and has done a few mediations a year since then or a credentialed mediator who meets the annual requirements for credentialing?
  • Do you want your mediator to be a lawyer who has years of litigation experience and subject matter knowledge of the law in dispute or a non-lawyer who has no trial experience and no subject matter knowledge? Has the mediator trained other mediators? Has the mediator written articles on mediation and negotiation?
  • Can the mediator connect well with the parties and establish rapport and trust with the parties? According to a survey by Northwestern University Law School professor Stephen Goldberg, veteran mediators believe that establishing rapport and trust is more important to effective mediation than employing specific mediation techniques and tactics. Goldberg’s research provides two important lessons. One is the importance of relationship building, especially in contentious situations. Some measure of trust is required before people will open up and reveal their true interests and goals. The other lesson is that the hallmark of an artful and successful mediation is each party feels listened to and acknowledged, rather than maneuvered and manipulated.
  • Does the gender of the mediator matter? Will a male or female mediator be more effective with the parties? Which party will the most difficult to reach an agreement?
  • Does the mediator need to be a soft, moderate or hard agent of reality? The mediator might need to soft with one party and hard with the other party. The lawyers for each party will have to inform the mediator. Remember, the mediator cannot impose a ruling or force a party into an agreement.
  • Will the mediator be empathic to each party’s feelings, concerns, financial and emotional stressors, fears and insecurities?
  • Will the mediator be prepared by knowing about the case, the issues and what each side wants, but more importantly, why they want what they want?

It is important for you to feel comfortable with your choice in a mediator to help you in your case. Carefully consider these questions when making a decision, and make sure your mediator meets your standards. The more confident you are in your mediator, the more easily he or she can help you reach a conclusion in your case.

Tim Whitten is certified as a Family Law Specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and is committed to helping clients resolve family law conflicts in a way that preserves family relationships. If you have a family law need and you think that our style and philosophy may work for you, please contact us. We can provide additional information, or set up a consultation. Please call 512-478-1011 or contact us by email here.

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Contact Us

512-478-1011

7500 Rialto Blvd., Bldg. 1
Suite 250
Austin, TX 78735
Map + Directions

Family Focused.
Solution Oriented.

Family Focused. Solution Oriented.

Resolving family law matters while preserving family relationships.

Family Focused. Solution Oriented.

Our goal is to help folks resolve their family law issues in a way that protects their interests and preserves their family ties. Most family law cases can be difficult from an emotional and financial perspective. We believe in reducing the emotional and financial stress by offering alternative options to resolving their disputes, such as mediation. We enjoy helping people who are interested in working together to find creative solutions to their circumstances.

We provide a variety of services to clients from all walks of life. We offer both full-scope and limited-scope representation so that you may choose the way you want to allocate your resources. We are open to exploring alternative fee arrangements, in appropriate cases. Contact us to inquire.

Helping You Pursue Alternative Conflict Resolution Methods

Too often clients in family law cases spend substantial sums of money arguing about issues in court and often feel worse at the end of their case than before they started. At The Law Office Of Tim Whitten, P.C., we are sensitive to this reality. This is why we explore alternatives to the traditional litigation approach with each client as we help him or her identify long-term legal interests and goals. After our representation begins, we strive to be available and responsive to each client to ensure that we stay on track with that client’s interests and goals.

Contact the Law Office of Tim Whitten

If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney and you believe that our philosophy may work for you, contact The Law Office Of Tim Whitten, P.C. We are dedicated to helping you and your family move forward peacefully. Call 512-478-1011 to speak with our firm today.

MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Our primary attorney, Tim Whitten, is certified as a Family Law Specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This means that he has experience in multiple case types, demonstrated proficiency, and mastery in some of the technical aspects of family law.

Contact Us Today

For a Confidential Consultation

Contact Us

512-478-1011

7500 Rialto Blvd., Bldg. 1
Suite 250
Austin, TX 78735
Map + Directions

Family Focused.
Solution Oriented.