How Should I Prepare for Mediation?
Mediation can be a useful process for couples going through a divorce who want to avoid the courtroom. By agreeing to meet for mediation on a voluntary basis, the couple can discuss the points of their divorce and, hopefully, resolve any conflicts without having to go before a judge. Though a neutral third-party mediator may be present, along with attorneys representing their clients, the ultimate goal for a mediation session is to allow the divorcing couple to settle things on their own.
Mediation can be used to resolve a multitude of issues including the following:
- Division of Property
- Child Support
- Parenting Time
- Spousal Maintenance
Parties might turn to mediation both during and after a divorce as different issues arise.
If you or a loved one is facing mediation, there are some key things you might consider that will help you be better prepared and ensure your mediation time is spent in the best way possible. Because it is a legal matter, you'll want to be careful how much time is spent in mediation.
1. Know the Issues
Be sure that, as you head into mediation, you are well aware of the issues at hand. Discuss your strategy carefully with your attorney and come prepared with the correct documentation. Consider what your demands are and their priority in your life. For example, you may want to be better prepared for issues regarding your parenting time rather than how to split up the furniture.
2. Choose Your Battles
As you prepare to go to mediation, you might ask yourself what you feel is most worth fighting for. You'll want to choose carefully as you decide what issues are most important to you. The last thing you'll want to do is spend precious mediation time, which typically includes attorney fees, fighting or arguing over something that isn't that big of a deal. It's easier to decide before you enter mediation what issues you're willing to be flexible on rather than waiting until the heat of the moment when tempers may be hot.
3. Understand the Risk
You may go into mediation with high expectations only to end up disappointed with the outcome. Take some time to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally of how you will deal with the possibility of not settling in mediation. Not only should you consider your emotions, but also how much you're willing to fight for your cause. Are you willing to go to the next level and take it to court? Are you able to afford that? What happens if you go to court and lose? Taking a step back and looking at the big picture can help you be more prepared for mediation.
Having an experienced attorney in your corner can make a big difference as you prepare for mediation. You'll be able to rely on their expertise and experience. A good family law attorney, such as Brad Crider, will work with you to make sure you are prepared and ready for mediation.