Mediation is a very common method to try to resolve family law issues. The biggest benefits to mediation are that the process can help you figure out what the really important aspects of your case are, and can either end with you resolving your case or get you much closer to resolving through negotiation between the parties. It can be frustrating to go to mediation and fail to resolve the case after hours of work and paying a mediator as well as an attorney, but cases are more likely to settle than not.
I have a Guide to Mediation that I like to give my clients, for tips on making mediation the most useful and likely to resolve your case as possible. One of the most important tips is to remember that mediation isn’t court. The mediator does not need to be persuaded who is right and wrong, because the goal is to get the parties to agree on a solution. Especially when the parties are in the same room, trying to persuade the mediator that the other party is a problem can cause that party to become angry and the mediation could fail.
Mediated settlement agreements are binding, so it’s really important to know what you’re agreeing to when you sign. Mediations are a half day or a full day, and they rarely end early. It’s important not to let frustration or stress overwhelm you into signing an agreement you wish you hadn’t.
Having an attorney with you at mediation are useful, to make sure your interests are protected. They can also help you focus on the most important aspects of your case and ensure that the final agreement is what was agreed.