- If you’re about to enter mediation, the odds are your emotions include upset, anger, disappointment, and probably several other feelings. If it helps, the other person is probably in the same position although perhaps showing it in very different ways. You obviously don’t agree on everything or you wouldn’t be in mediation in the first place. You each understand each other’s circumstances and emotions better than you’ve probably been willing to admit.
- The success of mediation depends on complete and honest disclosure of relevant information and documents to each other and to the mediator. This includes providing all information and documents that usually would be available through the discovery process in a legal proceeding. If you fail to make full disclosure, a court might rule later that the agreement resulting from mediation is not binding.
- Accusations only hinder the process and are not relevant to the issues to be discussed in mediation. Leave fault and blame aside. The focus of mediation is on the future, not the past.
- Accept responsibility for yourself. State what you want and need, and include your intent, reasons and feelings. Don’t try to speak for the other person.
- Go into the mediation prepared to be respectful and courteous to the mediator and the other party. This is not the place to “get even.” It may be the place to get things “off your chest,” but respectfully.
- Sometimes, the mediator will meet with the parties separately in a “caucus” to clarify issues. Usually, the mediator will identify those times, but you can also let everyone know when you feel a caucus would be helpful. Things said during the caucus are confidential and cannot be reported to any other party without the permission of the party in caucus.
- Most matters are complicated and there are many issues and sub-issues that will need resolution. As you discuss concerns, treat “agreements” and “compromises” as “written in sand” until you resolve everything. It will be easier to negotiate with confidence if you know you haven’t agreed to be bound to anything until you agree to everything.
- Consider dressing comfortably. Mediation is hard work!
- Mediation does not replace the need for counselors or psychotherapists.
- Consider how your attorney will be involved through this mediation. Take a look at About to Mediate? Don’t Forget Your Attorney for further guidance.
Our Child & Spousal Support Calculators:
Resolution Point offers remote mediation services at no extra charge when parties can’t be in the same room due to schedules or other conflicts:
- ▪ 4-way phone conference calling
- ▪ Video conferencing
- ▪ Internet connectivity which allows parties to watch everything remotely on their computer screen as it’s happening in our office.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
“As you know, we’d been through nearly two years of marital counseling by the time we reached irreconcilable stage. After the shock and bitterness subsided, we agreed to work together on an amicable separation. Our young daughter deserved nothing but the best from us both as parents, and we thought our best step in that direction was to try mediation. From my first email, you were immediately helpful and informative, showing real interest in addressing my inquiry instead of selling me on your services. During the mediation process, we both felt impressed with your objectiveness, professionalism, as well as a sensitivity to what we were going through on a personal and emotional level. You also tailored your work to match our needs and preferences rather than just following a format template. This gave us a sense of control over this inherently difficult and overwhelming matter. We got through this feeling that we’ll be able look back and each realize a sense of dignity and fairness. This was done in no small way thanks to you. While I don’t wish divorce on anyone, I do recommend divorcing couples look to mediation first, and to make their first call to Danny Burk.”