- Research Mediators
It is important to select the right mediator for the specific factual and legal issues in your case. The mediator you select for your case should also be experienced and respected within the community. If you have an attorney, he/she will be able to help you find a mediator that is the right fit for your case.
- Mentally Prepare
A large part of mentally preparing for Mediation is to make sure that you know what you are willing to compromise on and to go into Mediation with the right attitude to negotiate. Mediation can be a very emotionally draining experience and it is important to have already thought through the issues in your case prior to the Mediation session. This will also help prevent you from making a deal you may regret later on because you did not fully think it through beforehand.
Communication is essential in any form of alternative dispute resolution. If you have an attorney, he/she will likely set up a meeting to prepare for Mediation. This meeting is beneficial to both you and your attorney, as it is an opportunity to make sure you are both on the same page before Mediation. This is a good time to tell your attorney anything that may be helpful for negotiations at mediation, or anything that you have failed to mention to your attorney previously. Communication with your attorney, the mediator, and even the opposing party at the Mediation session is also important. Keep in mind that no one can force you to agree to something during this process and you should not be afraid to communicate your position.
- Focus on the Future
During the divorce process, it can be hard to see past what is happening in the present and think about your future. However, especially at Mediation, you are negotiating your future. Before attending Mediation you should think about what the future may be for your situation and try to anticipate any potential problems that can be addressed at Mediation. For example, if you have children that are not yet attending school and you know that you and your soon to be ex-spouse will disagree on school choice in the future, mediation may be a good time to negotiate these points and problem solve for your future.
- Do your Homework
Make sure that you have gathered all of the necessary information/documentation prior to Mediation. If finances are an issues in your case, you should print off recent statements from all accounts and your three most recent paystubs. If you have an attorney, he/she will likely prepare a balance sheet prior to Mediation and/or submit a letter to the mediator prior to Mediation.