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How should I prepare for the mediation process?

October 3, 2017

Sometimes two people going through a divorce reach a point where they simply can’t agree on something. This is something that happens to the majority of divorcing individuals and is nothing to be alarmed about. Sometimes people just can’t agree and that’s okay. When a stalemate is reached, courts often order couples to undergo the mediation process. It can be as beneficial or as useless as you decide to let it be. For couples who are committed to letting the mediation process work, great miracles come from them. To couples who don’t believe in the power of mediation, its usefulness can end before it even begins.

How to get ready for mediation proceedings

It’s time to turn an issue or issues over to a mediator. It’s going to be a process, not just a one stop shop for settling all divorce differences. Before going into mediation, there are some things you can do to prepare.

1. Agreeing on mediation: Not everyone agrees willingly to mediation. If you want mediation to work, it’s best to make sure that you have a sit down with your spouse, or a phone call, or email communication, and ensure that you’re on the same page about mediation. In some instances, both parties will be on the same page. They might not believe mediation will work but they’re willing to try. Agreeing on the setting for the mediation and the time will help both parties feel comfortable in that setting and at that time.

2. Set goals: Both parties are going to have a list of goals they want to accomplish during mediation. Make your goals out and try to think of ways that you can achieve them. Discuss these goals with your attorney so that they can verify whether they are realistic goals or goals that should be addressed at the present time.

3. Choose a good mediator: When hiring a mediator, you should have some idea of his past history of success. Did he help both people achieve their goals in an amicable way? Did he make sure that both parties felt like they had been heard? Was he easy to speak to and communicate with? Most mediators will give you a solid idea of what kind of work they’ve done in the past. Their personality might also be a factor in whether or not they’re the right person for the job. Both parties should, whenever possible, agree on the mediator and the setting alike.

All of these things will help you prepare for the mediation process. Some people will tell you, though, that even with the most thorough preparation, there can still feel like something was left out during the process. Don’t be discouraged! Mediation is just one step in a very long process during very complex divorces. There will always be more need for a mediator in divorces where people have to work out things like child custody, alimony, and child support. The longer couples are together, the more they have at stake in a divorce. If you feel like you have very pressing issues in your divorce that need to be addressed but aren’t getting addressed, a mediator can be an excellent tool for accomplishing your goals and helping both parties feel more understood and heard. It’s all about fairness.

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