How To Prepare for Mediation
Whether it’s your first time mediating or whether you’ve attended before, keep these considerations in mind as you are preparing to attend mediation.
Come With an Open Mind
Mediation can be a powerful tool if both parties allow it to be. Be prepared to discuss issues pertaining to your case. At mediation you may come to an agreement on only a few areas of your case, or you may resolve all the issues in your case.
Mediation is a forum that gives you the ability to negotiate solutions with the help of a trained specialist. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk things through. Your case is a big part of your life, and mediation creates the opportunity for you to have a say in the outcome of your case.
If mediation is unsuccessful, that may mean that you will be turning your case over to a stranger in a black robe. Keep that in mind and be open to settlement opportunities.
Be Prepared to Pay the Mediator
Rates vary depending on the mediator you use. Typically, the mediator’s rate is split between the parties. Most mediators require payment at the conclusion of the mediation, so it’s important to anticipate paying them and make sure you understand what forms of payment they accept.
Plan for an Emotional Process
As we discussed in our prior blog “Mediating over a Baseball,” mediation can take an emotional toll on a person, and sometimes emotions can override logic.
If you feel it would be beneficial for you to have a close friend or family member attend mediation with you for moral support, talk to your attorney. In most cases the mediator will allow you to have someone attend with you, but they generally prefer to limit it to one person.
Be careful who you choose to bring. You want someone who will help, not hinder the process.
If you will be bringing up specifics at mediation, it’s important to have documents present to back up your statements. Talk to your attorney beforehand about whether you need to bring things such as paystubs, retirement statements, etc.
Although mediation is not court and should not be used as a place to argue your position, the parties all need to be well educated regarding the issues at hand. Moreover, the mediator will be coming in with a fresh perspective on the case. He needs to understand the issues your case is facing, and will need to review some of the facts of your case to better help you negotiate a successful result.
Mediation can be a stressful process, so do everything you can to prepare yourself and make the process go as smoothly as possible. Mediation generally lasts about five hours, but it can last all day. Eat a good meal before you come. Don’t schedule any appointments for the rest of the day, so you aren’t under the pressure of a time crunch.
At Burton Law, we’ve helped clients with numerous mediations. We attend mediation with you to make sure you understand your rights and help you make educated decisions. We use mediation to come up with solutions to your unique situation.
If you would like to discuss mediation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact our office today.