Tips to Prepare for a Successful Mediation
Make Settlement Your Goal
If you will be entering into mediation, remember that you are doing so with the goal to settle your disagreements, not to protract the fight or to “win.” Sometimes when one or both parties prove intractable, the case has to go to litigation to move forward. Where possible, give the mediation process the best chance to succeed by keeping the mindset that you are in it to bring the matter to a fair conclusion.
Prepare and Communicate With Your Attorney
As a mediator, I have the best chance of dispute resolution when I have all the information I need to represent a client. This means not only providing me with all the relevant information and documents I need to build a successful case, but also understanding what your goals and priorities are so I know what to emphasize. Those goals may be different depending on what your case involves: divorce, child custody or another matter. It may help you to sit down and think about what you want before even meeting with me. What are your biggest concerns, and what do you hope to gain from the mediation? Knowing you may not get everything that you want, see if you can focus on the most important elements for you.
While you may not have to speak publicly during the mediation, it can help if you can articulate your side of the story if you need to. Even just thinking about your view of the matter and writing down bullet points can help clarify your main points and priorities as we move through the process of mediation.
Be Prepared to Formalize an Agreement
Mediation is not just a verbal process, but requires the terms of the settlement to be written down and accepted by a court in order for them to be enforceable. Be ready to not just come to a verbal understanding, but to sign a written agreement that can be presented to the court.