What to Consider When Preparing for Your First Mediation Session

Carlsbad, CA – If you’re going through a divorce, custody battle or other legal dispute, you may already know how time-consuming and expensive the process can be. However, mediation offers a fairly peaceful, affordable alternative to what could be chaos otherwise.

What Is Mediation?

First MediationMediation programs allow people to avoid the courtroom by resolving complaints themselves. Those involved in a dispute work with a mediator to find their own solutions to their case, instead of being told what to do by a judge. Mediators can be trained volunteers who are not lawyers, or they can be paid professionals like John Griffith, a San-Diego area family law attorney, and mediator.

In a divorce case, you and your spouse can each air your grievances, with equal opportunity allotted to both of you. The mediator will summarize each side and offer possible solutions. The goal of mediation is to smoothly and quickly resolve the matter without having to go to trial. Mediation is a time to identify common goals, eliminate misunderstandings, identify priorities, and eventually compromise to reach an agreement.

If a trial is necessary, the mediator’s report will likely factor into the judge’s decision, so try to be personable and professional in your mediation.

How to Prepare for Your First Mediation

While getting ready for your mediation, the following steps may be helpful:

  1. Clarify your goals. What do you hope to accomplish? What are you willing to compromise on, and what is absolutely non-negotiable?
  2. Be ready to explain your situation clearly and quickly. As you and your spouse will be given equal time to talk about your case, make sure you know the most important points. Time is of the essence, so be prepared to distill your side down to key facts.
  3. Have some notes ready. You are allowed to take your own notes to the mediation, so be prepared by filling out a mediation worksheet beforehand.
  4. Make sure you can treat your spouse civilly. Even if there is bitterness or justifiable anger at your spouse, losing your temper will only prolong the outcome of your case. Mentally prepare yourself ahead of time to listen to your spouse’s side of the story, as this will lead to a faster resolution.
  5. If you have children, think about what’s really best for them. If you’re going for mediation over custody issues, be sure not to mix that with child support payments. Think about how your children will prosper, and what environment best meets their needs.

To best prepare for your mediation, schedule a free consultation with Griffith, Young, and Lass today. This team has skilled, experienced family law attorneys who can help you with mediation, drastically reducing the stresses and costs associated with this difficult time.

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