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How do I prepare for Mediation?

How you prepare for mediation depends on whether you are entering mediation with lawyers being present or not. If the lawyers are going to be present for the mediation, they will frequently have a pre-mediation discussion with the Mediator and will prepare a brief of issues that you will review, and that the Mediator will be able to read in advance of the mediation.


Many Mediators will have individual meetings with each of the spouses in advance of the mediation. These intake meetings are generally confidential in that the Mediator does not refer to the issues discussed in the course of the mediation with the other party. This is an opportunity for you to make sure that you have alerted the mediator to all of the issues that are at stake up front. In advance of this meeting, you should make sure that you know what the issues are and what your positions are on each of them. You can also be candid during this meeting and tell the Mediator which issues are more important to you and on which issues you will be willing to compromise and make concessions.


Prior to attending the mediation, make sure that you have read the Mediation Agreement thoroughly. You should consider carefully whether the mediation is open or closed. In a closed mediation, discussions about what occurs will not be disclosed in the event that you fail to reach a settlement. Most mediations in family law are closed.


Make sure that you are well rested and not distracted during the course of the mediation. If you need to make child care arrangements, make sure that you do so. It is common for mediations to last an entire day and past the end of school. You will want to make after school arrangements for your children.