Mediation can be an effective method for resolving disputes, but it's important to properly prepare in order to make the most of the process. Here are some tips and tools to help you prepare for mediation:
Gather and organize relevant documents: Mediation often involves discussing and exchanging information, so it's important to have all relevant documents on hand. This might include financial documents, legal documents, and any other documents that pertain to the dispute.
Start by making a list of all the documents that might be relevant to the dispute. This might include financial documents, legal documents, correspondence, and any other documents that pertain to the dispute. Once you have a list of the documents you need, gather them together. You may need to request copies of some documents from other parties or from third parties, such as banks or government agencies. Once you have gathered all the relevant documents, it's important to organize them in a logical and easy-to-understand manner. This might include creating a filing system, labeling documents, or creating a binder or folder to keep everything together. It's a good idea to make copies of all the documents you will be bringing to mediation. This way, you can refer to them during the mediation process, and you will have a copy for your own records.
By gathering and organizing your documents in advance of mediation, you can be better prepared to discuss and exchange information during the process, which can help you achieve a successful and satisfying resolution.
Identify your goals and priorities: Identifying your goals and priorities before entering mediation can help you focus on what's most important to you and make it easier to negotiate a resolution that meets your needs. Here are some steps for identifying your goals and priorities for mediation:
Reflect on what you hope to achieve: Take some time to think about what you hope to achieve through mediation. Do you want to reach a financial settlement? Do you want to resolve issues related to child custody or parenting time? Or do you have other goals in mind?
Make a list of your goals: Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, make a list of them. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you don't lose sight of what's most important to you.
Prioritize your goals: Consider the relative importance of each goal on your list. Are there any goals that are non-negotiable for you? Are there any goals that you are willing to be flexible on? Prioritizing your goals can help you determine your negotiating stance during mediation.
Communicate your goals to the mediator: It's important to communicate your goals to the mediator before the mediation process begins. This will help the mediator understand your perspective and can guide the mediation process towards a resolution that meets your needs. We recommend sending your mediation a CONFIDENTIAL settlement offer prior to mediation outlining your goals and stating you reason for wanting particular items.
Consider hiring an attorney or mediator: While it's not required to have an attorney or mediator present during mediation, it can be helpful to have someone with legal expertise on your side. An attorney or mediator can provide guidance and advice on how to navigate the mediation process and achieve a fair and mutually satisfactory resolution.
Be open to compromise: Mediation is all about finding a resolution that works for both parties, which may require some level of compromise. It's important to be open to finding creative solutions and to be willing to give and take in order to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
By following these tips and tools, you can enter mediation feeling prepared and confident, which can help you achieve a successful and satisfying resolution. If you need more tips and tools to assist you with your divorce or custody case please consider signing up for one of our upcoming classes.