How to Prepare for Family Mediation

Family mediation involves people resolving issues with each other in a structured and constructive way, usually after separation or divorce. It helps reduce hostility, allows parties to better understand their situation and find solutions that are in everyone’s best interests. Family law disputes can include custody, parenting arrangements, property settlement, child support, spousal support, restraining orders and elder care.

The mediator is neutral and assists the discussion of issues, allowing both sides to consider their options and how they might work in practice. This is much less stressful than letting the judge decide on their behalf and can result in more workable arrangements for your family going forward.

Preparing for a session is essential to assist in making progress during the meeting. It is advisable to bring any notes you may have on the subject and all documentation related to the issue. It is also helpful to discuss how you want to approach the matter with your lawyer before mediation.

Try to remain calm during discussions and don’t interrupt. If you feel your emotions are getting out of control, it’s sometimes appropriate to ask the mediator to step in. It’s also important to listen actively and with empathy, even if you don’t agree with what is being said. This will allow you to show that you can accept other viewpoints, which might help to resolve the dispute. It’s also worth considering whether an issue is really worth fighting over – often trivial things can lead to arguments when emotions are running high.