Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can be used to resolve family law matters. Mediation is most successful when all parties respectfully cooperate to reach a resolution with the facilitation of a neutral mediator. Here are a few tips to ensure you have a successful mediation session.
1. Be prepared for the mediation
First things first – make sure mediation is the most appropriate pathway to resolve your issues. If there are issues of abuse of family violence mediation may not be suitable. Once you’ve decided that it is the best option, schedule an intake with the mediator and make sure you’ve get a rundown from the mediator on how the mediation process works. When you get home after your intake session find a quiet space, grab a cup of coffee and brainstorm – list down all the matters you want to be resolved, the options you have and factors which may hinder you from reaching an agreement. Once you’ve planned this out figure out where you can compromise to have a fair result. Mediation is your chance to tailor an agreement that works for your family moving forward. Get legal advice before your scheduled mediation date so you have a good understanding of your legal rights and responsibilities.
2. Be cooperative
Meditation can be conducted in person or online. Skype or video conferencing are suitable alternatives where one party is unable to attend. In order for the mediator to have a realistic understanding of the dispute, parties must share information. The goal of mediation is to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that works for all parties. This forum also allows each party to voice their concerns and interests which assists in reaching an agreement. Being positional and stuck on one proposal will not result in a good outcome.
3. Negotiate and compromise
Remember that the role of the mediator is to facilitate an agreement between the parties in dispute. The mediator does not make a decision for the parties. Make sure you keep your emotions at the door and focus on common interests. Be ready to compromise. We all know that family matters raise all kinds of emotions so list down your interests in a way that you don’t get carried away during mediation. Think outside the box – create options where all parties’ interests align. Aim to reach an agreement you can live with, this will always be more favourable than no deal at all.
4. Treat each other with respect and move past the emotions
Avoid focusing on emotions during mediation when trying to reach a mutual agreement. Decisions based on strong emotions are never the best resolution. Treat each other with respect by trying not to get on each other’s nerves and practice active listening.
5. Reach an agreement in mediation
Any agreement reached involves change so be patient with each other. No one is a fan of change but sometimes it’s inevitable. Take time to reflect on all the interests involved – consider the reality of the situation – consider all possible alternatives. Mediation gives you the freedom to tailor an agreement that works for all parties and suits the needs of your family so you can be as creative as possible. Remember mediation also saves you the money, time and emotional stress you would have had to deal with, had you decided to go to court.
Author bio – Divorce Right Team – Shenaia Nanayakkara
We create practical and useful resources to guide you through your divorce process. Our mission is to change the face of divorce and create peace in families. We have created a revolutionary new way for you to heal and get over your divorce or break-up. This unique method helps you manage the conflict, re-frame your relationship with your partner and finalize all the paperwork so you can move on to the next chapter of your life.