How to ensure your mediation is successful
While the process of mediation and dispute resolution is chiefly handled by your family law mediator, this does not mean you can’t help the process along in your own way. Certainly, just showing up and being cooperative with the process are two majorly important steps you’ve already taken once you sit down at the negotiating table.
The success of your mediation with your ex is as much determined by your attitude and level of commitment as it is the quality of your mediator. With this said, let’s take a look at some tips you can employ to ensure that you have a productive family law mediation.
1. Have a cooperative attitude
Of course, your first and foremost responsibility when entering a mediation session is to put aside whatever negative emotions and/or resentment you have and focus on the task at hand. This can often be easier said than done, especially if you had a particularly acrimonious split that involved cheating or another form of betrayal – but it’s necessary for success.
If you start bickering with your ex during the mediation, things can get derailed very quickly. Remember that the point of the mediation session is to reach a mutually agreeable compromise, not to score a victory over your ex.
2. Make sure the children are the priority
If the future custody of any children you shared with your ex is being disputed, it’s no secret that family law mediation is the best means of resolving the matter. However, it can be easy for the welfare of the kids to be forgotten about when you and your ex get into a bitter back-and-forth over how much you despise one-another.
It’s prudent to establish early-on with your ex that the welfare of the children is the top priority for both of you. Coming to a mutual understanding that you, while disagreeing in other parts of your relationship, both sincerely want the best for your children is a hugely important first step in the right direction.
3. Be punctual and attentive
There’s no better way to show your ex, their solicitor and the family law mediator how little you care than to show up late and/or not listen or engage during the process. Needless to say – behaving like this would very much work against you if it comes to a judge deciding which party will be the primary caregiver of your children.
In the same light, attempting to influence your kids into lying about abuse from your ex or some other totally unethical tactic would severely hinder you credibility with the court system. Liars and manipulators of children are caught out very easily by judges who have seen it all before – don’t even think about trying to lie you way through this process!
4. Know what you’re willing to settle for and what you can’t compromise on
It’s always prudent, prior to any negotiation, to know what your limits are and what leverage you have to use. If you don’t have a clear idea of what the minimum acceptable settlement is, you won’t be able to know when to argue and when to accept the settlement as the best you’re going to get.
5. Listen to the mediator
Above all, listening to and following the direction of your mediator is the best way of ensuring the process goes smoothly and is productive in some way. If you are struggling to negotiate with your ex, let the mediator take over and do what they do best – that’s what you’re paying them for after all!
There you have it, 5 tips you can employ give your family law mediation session the best chance of success.