Lots of mediating couples who come to Move On Mediation ask us how to prepare for family mediation. Preparation for your mediation session will make a huge difference to how effective the session is, so we do recommend doing some preparation before the day.
At Move On Mediation, we help to prepare each party for their family mediation session individually. Once you both agree to attend family mediation and a date is booked, we hold an intake session with each of you separately.
This allows you to share completely confidentially what you want to achieve from the mediation session. It allows you to prepare for your family mediation session by asking any questions you have about the mediation process, how it works and what to expect.
Here are some other ways in which you can effectively prepare for family mediation.
Consider Your Approach
Think about how you want to approach your mediation session. Staying calm and reasoned is essential to achieving an agreeable outcome so think about ways in which you can keep your cool on the day and prepare a prompt or reminder to help you remember to do so.
Know What You Want
Have a clear idea of what you want to resolve on the day. Most couples have at least a few issues they cannot agree on when they separate, and these should be addressed at family mediation.
Whether it’s who gets the guinea pigs or how to split your marital assets or which days you want the kids spending with you, make a list of what you would ideally like to agree on during your mediation.
Be Prepared To Negotiate
While you may have a list of things you want to achieve and what you think a fair or reasonable outcome would look like, be prepared to negotiate and to be pragmatic about achieving an acceptable outcome.
Mediation is about talking through your issues, sharing your differing views and coming to a mutually agreeable solution.
If you aren’t prepared to negotiate and compromise even a little, mediation may not work for you.
Make An Effort To Listen
Part of the mediation process is allowing your ex to speak. And you really need to listen to what they’re saying.
You are unlikely to agree on everything your ex has to say (you probably wouldn’t have separated if you did agree), but by listening to their point of view, it will help you to understand where they are coming from and how you may be able to reach a jointly-agreed resolution. People often have different perspectives about the same issue – not right ones or wrong ones, just different ones.
Bring Notes And Documents To Mediation
Don’t forget to bring your notes and any other documents you feel may be helpful to you your family mediation session.
During the intake session, you can ask what documents your mediator recommends and gather these before your session.
Make Time For Your Mediation Session
Mediation sessions can take several hours. For most couples, all it takes is one session to resolve the issues and get them documented.
Make sure you book your family mediation session on a day where you won’t have other time pressures.
If you’re constantly clock-watching during your session and worrying about where you need to be next, you’re going to be distracted and not give yourself the best chance of ending the session with agreed outcomes.
Ask a friend to pick up the kids from school, book the day off work if needed, and give yourself the whole day to focus on your mediation.
Try Not To Let Your Emotions Take Over
As hard as this may be, try not to let your mediation session by run by your emotions. Mediation can be stressful but it is not the mediator’s role to resolve the emotional and psychological fallout almost everyone gets from separation.
Making notes and preparing for mediation in advance will help you to feel more in control and have clear goals for the day.
Stick to facts and logical solutions during your discussions, and try not to get caught up in the emotional fallout of your divorce. Blame and finger-pointing will simply distract you from resolving the issues that enable you to move on – it’s about the future, not the past.
Have Support On Hand
Make sure you have a friend or family member available to support your before your mediation and on the day.
You may want to chat to someone after your mediation session to process what you’ve achieved. Let them know your mediation day and time and ask them if they’d be happy to chat on the phone or meet with you afterwards to talk about how it went.
Do you want to divorce quickly and move on with your life? Family mediation can help you do just that.
Ian Shann is an accredited and experienced family mediator in Perth. He has helped hundreds of couples over the years to move on from their separation with sensible and fair results – and without the stress of divorcing through expensive lawyers.
Call Ian today on 0418 928 448 or get in touch online – all communications are strictly confidential.