Mediation is a Chance to Control the Destiny of your Dispute.
The hidden truth about legal disputes: Settling disputes outside of litigation gives the parties a chance to better control their wishes and goals regarding the outcome of the dispute. In divorce and custody matters, NO one knows your family and situation better than you and your ex. When parties fail to agree, they must pay heavy attorney’s fees to proceed to litigation where a judge, who barely knows the family, will to his or her best to settle the dispute for them. Many times the parties get less than what they would have bargained for in mediation if they had settled the dispute themselves with a trained and impartial mediator.
Some Things to Keep in Mind.
- Children with parents involved in contentious custody or divorce litigation can develop emotional scars that they may never overcome or last well into adulthood. Reaching agreements in mediation and learning how to co-parent together provides the best situation possible for children.
- Divorce litigation incurs heavy attorneys’ fees, which subtracts from the marital assets. That’s right, many times parties spend so much money on litigation that they significantly dwindle marital assets or funds that would have otherwise been available for the children. When both parties act fairly in a divorce and resolve their own disputes, they end up having more assets to split between themselves. Many times parties spend more money in the process of litigation than they will gain from that which they are fighting for.
- There can be emotional closure and peace when parties resolve issues themselves in mediation.
- Mediation is generally confidential, meaning what is said in mediation by the parties cannot be brought in Court. This allows more freedom in negotiating during the mediation process and can facilitate an agreement between the parties.
Prepare to genuinely LISTEN
Prepare to TALK
Prepare to SET ASIDE PERSONAL CONFLICTS
Prepare to be CALM, COLLECTED, and BUSINESS-LIKE
Prepare to adopt the ATTITUDE – the right mindset is everything!
Initiating a Successful Mediation – 8 Tips Which Can Make a Difference
- Prepare a list of questions and concerns for your mediator.
- Make sure to fill out beforehand any forms the mediator requests.
- Prepare proposal(s) for the other side.
- Be prepared to talk about your goals and explain WHY those goals are important to you. Making demands without explaining your reasoning does not elicit understanding and agreement, and will hinder a successful mediation with the other party.
- If child access is at issue, prepare a parenting plan with a calendar identifying parent work schedules, holidays, school holidays, and proposed access times.
- If assets are at issue, prepare a property statement listing assets and your proposal for dividing.
- Know what you want. Prepare a list of wants you are willing to negotiate and wants that you must have. For example, if you must have a vacation every year with your child and are not willing to negotiate otherwise, be up front and say so.
- Meet with your lawyer first and obtain legal advice regarding the chances of reaching your goals if your case does go to litigation. Factor this advice into the settlement negotiations with the other party.
Contact an attorney or divorce mediator at Jacobson Family Law today to help you save money and have a successful mediation.
“One of the truest signs of maturity is the ability to disagree with someone while still remaining respectful.” ~ Dave Willis
Photo credit by Creative Commons