Who Chooses the Mediator in a Divorce Case?


Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, with many decisions needing to be made. One common question is, "Who gets to choose the mediator in a divorce case?" Many worry that they will be disadvantaged if their ex chooses the mediator. However, the truth is that the selection process for a mediator is not as crucial as you might think.

The Role of a Mediator

A mediator is an impartial third party who helps couples agree outside of court. They are not there to decide for you or force you into a settlement. They guide you through the process and help facilitate open communication. Mediators are trained to handle high-conflict situations and ensure that both parties feel heard and respected. Whether your ex chooses the mediator or your attorney does, it does not matter as long as they are qualified and neutral.

Collaborative Selection Process

In most cases, selecting a mediator is a collaborative effort between attorneys. Typically, one attorney suggests a few potential mediators, and the other reviews them and makes a decision. This process ensures both parties are comfortable with the mediator and promotes trust and fairness.

Criteria for Choosing a Mediator

When selecting a mediator, several factors are considered to ensure the best fit for both parties:

  1. Experience and Expertise: Mediators with extensive experience in family law and divorce cases are preferred. Their knowledge helps them navigate complex issues effectively.
  2. Reputation: A mediator's reputation for fairness and neutrality is crucial. Attorneys often choose mediators known for their balanced approach.
  3. Specialization: Some mediators specialize in certain areas, such as child custody or property division. It can be beneficial to choose a mediator with relevant expertise.
  4. Cost: The cost of mediation services can vary. Both parties should agree on a mediator whose reasonable fees are within their budget.

Trusting Your Lawyer

It's important to remember that mediators are professionals hired for their expertise in dispute resolution. They have no stake in the outcome of your case and are not biased toward one party. Trust that your lawyer has selected someone capable of helping both parties reach an agreement.

Addressing Concerns About Bias

People worry about who will choose the mediator due to fear and paranoia. Divorce is a highly emotional time, and it's normal to have concerns. But it's crucial to remember that everyone involved, including the lawyers, wants to reach a fair resolution. Mediators have a reputation to uphold; if they were biased, they wouldn't stay in business long.

Ensuring Neutrality

Some parties opt for mediation services provided by professional organizations or court-appointed mediators to ensure neutrality further. These mediators are often vetted for their impartiality and adherence to ethical standards.

Advantages of a Collaborative Process

A collaborative selection process has several advantages:

  1. Increased Trust: When both parties agree on the mediator, trust is fostered in the mediation process.
  2. Better Outcomes: A mutually agreed-upon mediator is more likely to facilitate productive discussions, leading to better outcomes for both parties.
  3. Reduced Conflict: Agreeing on the choice of a mediator can reduce initial tensions and set a positive tone for the mediation sessions.


Ultimately, who chooses the mediator in a divorce case does not matter as much as you might think. It's more important for both parties to be comfortable with the chosen mediator and to trust that they will guide them fairly through the process.

If you are going through a divorce and are worried about who gets to pick the mediator, let go of that concern. Trust in the process and in your lawyer's decision-making. Remember, mediation is a collaborative effort between all parties involved, and the goal is always to reach a fair and mutually beneficial agreement.

If you need more information about mediation or are ready to start the process, contact the Hembree Bell Team. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the mediation process and help you reach a resolution that works for you. We understand the challenges of divorce, and we are here to support and advocate for you every step of the way. Trust us to handle the legal side of things so you can focus on moving forward with your life.

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