Tips for a Successful Mediation Session

1.   Gather the financial information that will be needed to reach a settlement.

Consult a financial analyst, accountant or other professional before the mediation to gain a clear understanding of your family’s finances. For a divorce or post-divorce mediation, it’s crucial to understand the short- and long-term impact of dividing assets, and to make a list of your family’s assets and liabilities, indicating whether each one is yours, your spouse’s or jointly held.

2.   Understand your legal rights and duties.

Consult with an attorney regarding your legal rights and duties. If you already are represented by an attorney, discuss with that attorney what will happen if you do not resolve the case in mediation. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as the likely outcome at trial and the worst- and best-case scenarios.

3.   Be an active listener.

At the mediation, be an active, open-minded listener. When the other person is speaking, really take the time to listen to what they say, how they say it and, just as importantly, what isn’t being said.

4.   Take notes during the session.

If you think of something important while someone else is speaking, take notes for yourself or your attorney if you worry that you will forget your point before it is your turn to speak.

5.   Understand the mediator's role.

The mediator is not there to give you legal or other professional advice. The role of the mediator is to facilitate communication and negotiation between the parties, not to make any decisions on your behalf.

6.   Be prepared to think outside the box.

Oftentimes, the best agreements reached at mediation contain ideas that neither person had considered beforehand.

7.   Be patient and trust the mediation process.

Remember that you have chosen a dispute resolution process that fosters better communication and improved relationships.

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The information contained in this site is provided for general information only and should not serve as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney familiar with the facts and circumstances of a specific situation. We are not a law firm and do not provide legal or other professional advice during mediations.

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