How to Choose a Mediator

Questions to ask as you choose a Mediator to work with you on your case.

            1. For Family Cases (Parenting Plans, Dissolution, Property Division):  Confirm you are working with a “Court Approved Family Mediator” in the county where your case is filed.

NW Mediation Service is Superior Court Approved in Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties

            2.  Ask if the mediation session includes the following ‘court ready’ forms to be completed at the session as appropriate for your case:

  • Parenting Plan
  • Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (Marriage)   (FNFCL)
  • Decree of Dissolution   (DCD)
  • Property Division Exhibits
  • Settlement Agreement  
  • Certificate of Completion (Mediation)  – to submit to Court to meet mandatory mediation requirements 

NW Mediation Service has all of the above court documents available.

            3.  Are all forms completed electronically?

NW Mediation Service:  all documents at the session are completed electronically. 

            4.  If there is not full agreement at the session and consequently the documents are not fully completed, do the parties get copies of what had been completed so far?

NW Mediation Service:  documents completed during a session become the property of the clients – in both electronic and hard-copy formats.  Sections of the documents where the parties cannot reach agreement may be designated ‘Reserved for Court’ if the parties wish to complete the documents, which enables the documents to be filed and the case to be presented to the Court for finalization.

             5.  Does the mediator acknowledge and follow the Washington’s Uniform Mediation Act?

NW Mediation Service:  Washington’s Uniform Mediation Act is acknowledged and followed.

             6.  Has the Mediator received a certificate through an approved training program with both academic and practical components?  What types of training? Which program? (fyi, completing mediator training and receiving a ‘training certificate’ is not the same as ‘Certification’ – see below).

NW Mediation Service has professional and family law mediation training through King County Mediation Services and Snohomish County Dispute Resolution Center with applied practicums through King County and Skagit County Dispute Resolution Centers.   Professional Mediator Certification through Washington Mediation Association in 2010.

             7.  Is the mediator WMA (Washington Mediation Association) certified?  Certification standards and requirements ensures the mediator follows WMA standards of practice, meets subject matter knowledge requirements and is required to meet ongoing continuing education requirements.  Certification is reviewed and renewed every two years.  Ask for the designation WMAC (Washington Mediation Association Certified) to ensure the mediator has gone through the actual certification process and remains currently certified (**some mediators call themselves ‘certified’ based on receiving a training certificate). See the Washington Mediation Association website for additional information.

NW Mediation Service mediators have been WMA certified since 2010 in the following categories of practices:  Family Law (Domestic Relations), Commercial/Business, Community, Consumer, Eldercare, Organizational Relations & Public Policy.  Certification is current for 2014-2016.

             8.  Ask questions and review the mediators history and experience level (ie, years practicing and number/types of mediations).

NW Mediation Service mediators are active, practicing Professional Mediators with over 10 years of experience and over 200 mediation sessions conducted.

             9.  What are the fees?  Are there any extra costs involved?

For NW Mediation Service rates, please see the ‘Fee Schedule’ page for complete details or contact us directly via phone:  360-299-0977 or email: if you have questions. 


      Family Mediation  ♦  Workplace Mediation

Business and Commercial Mediation  ♦  Contractual and Property Mediation

NW Mediation Service  PO Box 222   Anacortes, WA  98221   360.299.0977 


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