When you decide to use family mediation there are a few things you can do to ensure you can get the most from the process.
Mediation is an affordable alternative to divorce proceedings through the Family Court, so it’s important to take it seriously if you want it to be effective.
Here are our top tips on how to get the most from family mediation.
Like anything in life, being prepared is crucial to success.
Make notes on what you want to achieve. List your priorities and write down why each point is important to you.
Try to pre-empt what the other party may bring up and prepare answers to their potential points. And try to think of things from the other person’s point of view – and why they might have views different to yours. There is no right and wrong in mediation; it’s a question of perspective.
Forewarned is forearmed and being able to react calmly to whatever the other person may say can help you reach an amicable agreement instead of getting upset and flustered.
Focus On The Solution
When it comes to the mediation process, keep in mind the reason why you chose to mediate in the first place – to get matters resolved in a sensible and fair way without wasting time and money on lawyers and the Family Court process.
Mediation is an affordable and time-effective alternative to formal divorce proceedings handled by lawyers and the courts.
It’s in your best interest to come to an agreement at mediation. It can save you time, stress, money, and it’s the better option if there are children involved as well.
Firstly, listen to the other party. Really try to hear and understand their point of view before responding with your own thoughts.
Secondly, listen to the mediator. They are there to help you reach an agreement.
The mediator is totally impartial: they are not on your side, or against you. They are there to help find the best outcome for everyone – but this can only happen if you listen.
Avoid Getting Emotional
Easier said than done, we know, but try not to let your emotions take over.
Being prepared for anything can help you keep your emotions in check during your mediation sessions.
Stay calm, no matter what the other party says or does and focus on the end solution that you want to achieve.
Getting upset and raising your voice will only hinder the mediation process and lessen the chances of getting matters resolved sensibly.
Family mediation isn’t about getting exactly what you want in the divorce.
It’s about listening to the other person and coming to reasonable solutions.
You might want the house, the car, the furniture, the kids and the cat, but is that really fair or realistic? Maybe not.
Mediation is usually about arriving at an amicable compromise.
Have a list of your priorities but come to mediation with an attitude that everything is negotiable.
You’re far more likely to achieve a resolution if you’re prepared to compromise.
Get Family Law Advice
You can choose to consult with a family lawyer to get an understanding of what you could be legally entitled to and what might be appropriate arrangements for the kids.
You may choose to bring your family lawyer to mediation with you.
Obtaining independent family law advice is not a prior requirement for mediation and it is completely up to you whether you want to seek legal advice before mediation.