HOW TO PREPARE FOR MEDIATION
Before the mediation begins
1. Find and consult with a lawyer regarding your rights and obligations.
2. Inform yourself about your lawyer’s fee and costs of litigating your dispute.
3. If financial issues will be addressed in mediation, review a financial statement form to find out what kind of financial information and documents might be required of you during the mediation process. It might not be necessary for parties to have completed a financial statement with a lawyer in advance of the first mediation session, but doing so expedites matters. If you do not have a lawyer and/or find the prospect of completing a financial statement daunting (as many of my clients do), it is typical and cost effective for parties to work with the mediator to gather and prepare all necessary financial information and statements. The mediator will work through all of the financial issues, and assist parties in determining ways that their assets and debts can be valued.
4. If you have a lawyer, inform her or him about your decision to mediate.
Before your initial and individual meeting with the mediator:
Your mediator will have received your intake questionnaire by this time, and will tell you what you need for the first mediation session. If there are existing court orders and agreements, they will most likely be needed.
1. Think of your priorities. If achieving one goal (for example staying in the family home) is of particular importance, you have to be clear about it.
2. Ask yourself if you feel vulnerable and insecure. Discuss these feelings with your lawyer, and/or make sure that the mediator is aware of them during your intake meeting.
3. If you have a lawyer, download the Agreement to Mediate and go over it with your lawyer before the first meeting with the mediator.
4. If you do not have a lawyer, read the Agreement yourself and ask the mediator all of your questions during your initial and individual meeting.