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Mediation Tips

mediation tips

  • Consult with an Attorney and seek legal advice before mediation to understand your rights and potential outcomes. Written agreements signed by both parties at mediation are typically binding.

  • Know which issues will be addressed at mediation and prepare a draft Parenting Plan, Child Support Worksheet, Separation Agreement, and/or Maintenance Worksheet.

  • Prepare Financial Documents including bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, mortgage statement, retirement and investment account statements, Kelley Blue Book car values, credit cards, and other statements showing debt.

  • Get copies of the above from your spouse. Your spouse is equally obligated to disclose his/her assets, debts, and income.

  • Set Clear Goals: Define your priorities and objectives for property division, child custody, and support arrangements. Know the value of your assets and debts and know the value of your significant other's assets and debts. This will help you negotiate.

  • Analyze your situation and determine what your best and worst case scenarios could be.

  • Stay Calm and Respectful: Maintain a composed and respectful demeanor during mediation sessions, even if emotions run high.

  • Be Open and Honest: Share all relevant information and financial details transparently with your spouse and mediator. Mediations are confidential and the negotiations that occur are inadmissible as evidence at trial.

  • Active Listening: Pay attention to your spouse's concerns and points of view and respond thoughtfully.

  • Consider the Children: If you have children, focus on their best interests when discussing custody and visitation arrangements.

  • Explore Compromise: Be willing to make concessions and compromises to reach mutually acceptable solutions.

  • Use Neutral Language: Avoid using accusatory or hostile language and stick to objective, neutral terms.

  • Take Breaks if Needed: If discussions become too heated or overwhelming, it's okay to request a break to cool off. Also take your time to review any Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), don't let anyone pressure you into signing.

  • Stay Focused: Keep the mediation focused on the issues at hand, and don't bring up unrelated grievances.

  • Review Legal Terms: Familiarize yourself with legal terms and concepts related to your separation agreement.

  • Consider Future Changes: Anticipate future changes in circumstances and include provisions in your agreement for modification if necessary.

  • Document Agreements: Ensure that all agreements reached during mediation are written and signed by both parties.

  • Legal Review: If you're not comfortable with the documents drafted during mediation, such as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Separation Agreement, or Parenting Plan, don't sign it. It's okay to let the mediator and opposing party know that you want to have the documents reviewed by an attorney before you sign.

  • Stay Informed: Remember, mediation is almost always required by the Court. Don't skip it!

For expert guidance and additional mediation tips, reach out to our team.

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