Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys

Skilled Divorce Mediator Search Tips

Mediation can save you time and money when facing the split of your marriage, and it can keep you from going to divorce court. Finding a mediator is probably the most challenging part of the process, especially if you succeed in finding a skilled professional to handle your case.

It’s unfortunate that no regulations currently exist in California for mediation services. That means that anyone who’s willing can hang a sign above their door hailing themselves as a Divorce Mediator.

Here are some points to consider when searching for the most skilled mediator in your area to handle your upcoming divorce case.

What is a Skilled Mediator?

A mediator is a neutral party who will conduct the divorce proceedings. The guidelines for mediation and an explanation of the process can be found in the California Evidence Code, Sections 1115-1128. Broken down, the process of mediation will see you and your spouse working with the mediator to come to an amicable settlement regarding all matters, including alimony, child supportchild custody, visitation, and others.

A mediator is not a judge, but rather, a mediator is there to help facilitate cooperative communication between you and your spouse to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

A “skilled” divorce mediator is one who has experience with your type of divorce and comes highly recommended. But how do you search for such a professional?

Get Your Spouse to Help

Since cooperation is the primary goal of the mediation process, this is the perfect opportunity to hit the ground running. Recruit your spouse to help you in your search for a skilled mediator. Finding a professional to handle your case jointly has another benefit: You’ll both know that the party is neutral and that you both agree on the mediator being chosen. This makes the process more comfortable for you and your spouse, paving the way to a fair and just mediation process.

Make a List of Candidates

You and your spouse can begin your search by asking for recommendations from trusted sources. This could mean a therapist or colleague, or another person you wholeheartedly trust. You never know when even a friend might have used a mediator they highly recommend.

Next, head online. Google reviews are a goldmine for discovering not only who is worthy of mediating over your divorce, but why they’re the ideal professional. Are they patient and knowledgeable about the process? Do they go out of their way to make both spouses feel informed and comfortable throughout the proceedings? Those are the types of reviews you’ll want to look for when rounding out your list.

Read the mediators’ blogs and try to gather as much information as possible about each professional in consideration.

For best results, add two to four divorce mediators to your list, then continue to the next step.

Schedule Interviews

You can get an inkling of what someone is like by speaking over the phone, but you’ll have a much better job judging the mediators on your list by engaging in face-to-face interviews. Call each mediator on your list and ask to meet in person. If possible, get your spouse to go with you.

Most mediators offer a free 30-minute discovery session, but not always. Make sure you’re aware of any fees that coincide with these meetings.

Prepare for Your Interviews

Questions for the Mediator

Here is where the true determination is made for a skilled mediator to handle your case. You don’t want to show up for these interviews empty handed. This is your chance to grill the mediator and to determine if he or she is the best one for your needs.

First, write down a list of questions you want to ask. These questions should get right to the heart of the matter. For instance, you might ask:

  • What training have you had as a mediator?
  • Is your practice dedicated to mediation services?
  • How much experience do you have as a mediator?
  • What experience do you have with our specific types of complexities?
  • What is your mediation style?
  • How can you help spouses come to a cooperative agreement?
  • Can spouses bring attorneys to the mediation meetings?
  • What are your hours of availability, and how does your booking system work?
  • What fees do you charge for mediation services?

Questions Between You & Your Spouse

You’ll then want to come up with a list of questions that you and your spouse can discuss after the meetings with each mediator on your list. Gauging the answers carefully can help you narrow down your list to a single skilled candidate.

  • Did the mediator give you a detailed history of his or her training and experience?
  • id the mediator make eye contact with both of you?
  • Did you get to finish your questions before the mediator interjected?
  • Did the room feel balanced when the mediator was speaking or did the mediator take full control?
  • Did you feel safe and comfortable in the office? Was the office organized?
  • Was there any indication that the mediator was non-neutral and would rather play judge?
  • Did you both approve of the mediator’s style?
  • Can you afford the mediator in question?

Hire the Best Divorce Mediator

By examining the answers to your questions, you should be able to determine which of the mediators on your list would be perfect for your divorce situation. Once again, you are searching for a professional who will remain neutral throughout the process. The individual should be able to stay level-headed, particularly during complex negotiations, and should be able to guide you and your spouse to a peaceful resolution quickly and fairly.

Are you and your spouse looking for a skilled mediator to help with your divorce? For mediation services by experienced divorce lawyers in Carlsbad, Vista and San Marcos, CA, call Fresh Start Mediation at (858) 371-5569 and schedule a free consultation.


Meet Our Team 

Honest. Fearless. Bold.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS
  • Noelle J. Slattery, Esq.
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • Lea Trojanowski, Esq.
  • Greyson Sharp, Esq.
  • Brittany Van Ryder, Esq.
  • Karissa Piralla, Esq.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS


    John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Prior to opening Griffith, Young & Lass, he worked as the managing partner of one of the largest family law firms in North County San Diego.
    John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS


    Catie E. Young excels in child custody cases and move-away trials. She has a unique approach to child custody cases and clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases. Since joining the firm, she has continuously brought her zeal and compassion to representing clients in child custody and domestic violence cases, and in December 2011, she became a partner at Griffith, Young & Lass.
    Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS


    Amy Lass, a certified family law specialist, was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting. Amy went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006.
    Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS


    Attorney Shirin Asgari has a broad spectrum of legal experience and has handled matters in family law, criminal law, business law, and national security law. Currently, she focuses on family law matters and is a strong advocate for the rights of her clients. She dedicates time and attention to the needs of each client and the unique circumstances their case presents.
    Shirin  Asgari, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. Noelle J. Slattery, Esq.


    Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. has a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts/Acting from Emerson College in Boston and a Juris Doctor ...
    Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. Photo
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq. Eric Cowdery, Esq.


    Eric Cowdery earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before earning his JD from Golden Gate University as part of the Honors Lawyering Program. He was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2013 and has been working diligently in the field ever since. Taking a personalized approach to each case, Eric Cowdery is committed to working with clients to help them through the often confusing and complex legal process of divorce.

    Eric  Cowdery, Esq. Photo
  • Joshua Yee, Esq. Joshua Yee, Esq.


    Attorney Joshua Yeereceived his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, from the University of California, San Diego. Joshua went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from University of San Francisco. His experience working with a local Certified Family Law Specialist solidified his desire to become a family law attorney. Since becoming an attorney, Josh has exclusively practiced in family law.
    Joshua  Yee, Esq. Photo
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq. Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.


    Shaudi Malekzadeh is a Carlsbad family law attorney at Griffith, Young & Lass, advocating for the rights and interests of Southern California families in a variety of family law cases, such as child custody, alimony, spousal support, and the division of community property. She is committed to delivering effective legal representation to our clients, aggressively advocating for their legal rights, and offering compassionate legal advice.
    Shaudi  Malekzadeh, Esq. Photo
  • Lea Trojanowski, Esq. Lea Trojanowski, Esq.


    Lea Trojanowski is an attorney with Griffith, Young, and Lass, joining the firm in March 2021. Her pragmatic and level-headed approach to family law has allowed her to be successful in even the most emotional family law cases. Lea has effectively represented clients in a wide range of family law proceedings, but is particularly drawn to domestic violence restraining order cases.
    Lea  Trojanowski, Esq. Photo
  • Greyson Sharp, Esq. Greyson Sharp, Esq.


    Greyson Sharp received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from California State University, Fresno. After ...
    Greyson  Sharp, Esq. Photo
  • Brittany Van Ryder, Esq. Brittany Van Ryder, Esq.


    Brittany Van Ryder joined Griffith, Young, and Lass as a Bar Clerk in September 2022. She became an Associate Attorney at the ...
  • Karissa Piralla, Esq. Karissa Piralla, Esq.


    A San Diego native, Karissa earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from UCSD and a Juris Doctorate from the University ...

Our Results Speak for Themselves

Over 100 5-Star Reviews Throughout Our Social Media Platforms
  • The way John presented our case was pure genius with meticulous preparation and deliberate action in court.

    “We were referred to John Griffith at GYL by our former attorney. I specifically was looking for an aggressive attorney that would yield results. John, Josh, and the firm performed flawlessly, and did ...”

    - MoMo M.
  • I would highly recommend Griffith, Young & Lass to anyone looking for ethical, honest, hard-working and skillful lawyers.

    “I would highly recommend Griffith, Young & Lass to anyone looking for ethical, honest, hard-working and skillful lawyers (I would stress these are actually rare qualities within the legal industry and ...”

    - Scott G.
  • You cannot find a better law firm.

    “I cannot say enough good things about John Griffith and this law firm. Each person i interacted with was responsive, intelligent, thoughtful and professional. Attorney Griffith worked very hard to ...”

    - Michelle P.
  • It was the best decision I’ve made yet and hopefully, it will be yours too.

    “She doesn’t back down from anyone. It was the best decision I’ve made yet and hopefully, it will be yours too.”

    - Ian R.
  • Understanding, accessible, and I was very happy with the outcome of my case. If I could give a higher rating I would!

    “Easy to work with, forthcoming about the process, set realistic expectations, and always kept cost in mind.”

    - Jennifer P.
  • All three lawyers worked together on the issues surrounding my case, which helped greatly when I was in need of answers or support.

    “The GYL team is always prompt at returning calls & emails. From personal experience, I can tell you that they will not step away from your case until it's finished.”

    - Kelsey L.
  • I couldn’t have made it without them! I highly recommend them!

    “GYL has been an extraordinary support and backing in my divorce. Being a male in the military, the process for divorce and custody is difficult. GYL was extremely helpful, and I was able to full custody of my children. That alone is such a monumental feat.”

    - Frankie S.
  • Worth every penny! My custody case went as stress-free as it could possibly be.

    “I hate seeing anyone go through custody battles but if you’re in that situation and need someone who is trustworthy and great at what they do, then I swear this is the place to get the help!”

    - Emily B.
  • I highly recommend GYL if you are ever in need of a family law attorney.

    “No matter who I corresponded with they were always knowledgeable of my case and quick to respond.”

    - Kimberley F.
  • Highly professional and supportive in a very uncertain time in my life.

    “My clearance was granted without any additional issues. I'd recommend this legal team to any Soldier needing help with their clearance.”

    - K. Brooks
  • Always willing to listen to your concerns. I would highly recommend.

    “Compassionate and kind, however, he will fight for you and your best interests. He is calm and calculated and extremely smart.”

    - Ann M.
  • Extremely helpful, responsive, and reasonable and got the job done amidst tenuous circumstances.

    “She and her team were extremely compassionate, sensitive with me while concurrently advocating strongly on my behalf.”

    - Jeremy R.
  • I felt like she was practical and knowledgeable and most importantly, she listened.

    “The professional and succinct assistance was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the maze of hurdles and complications with our family law case.”

    - David R.

Why GYL? 

Turn to a Team that Does It Best
  • We're Leaders in Our Field

    From case planning to preparation, to superior courtroom presence, our clients can be sure that they will walk into the Courtroom prepared and with the best chance of success.

  • Client Centered & Results Oriented

    Our representation is tailored to the unique circumstances of each client. We deploy the GYL strategic case trajectory dynamic to ensure the best chance at success at the most reasonable cost. 

  • Brilliant, Hard-Working & Honest

    We don't believe in wasting our client's time and money. Helping people is what drives us to excel at our craft. We first identify the goals and interests of each client, we then develop an efficient and effective case plan aimed at achieving those goals.

  • Responsible & Ethical Practices

    We believe in a responsible and ethical practice and stick to our values regardless of the situation. We're transparent and don't just tell our clients what they want to hear, unless it's what we believe, even if it may deter them from moving forward. We stand by our team's expertise and will always be upfront and honest with our clients. 

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