Thursday, April 6, 2023

What Not to Do at Your Mediation

Hi everyone! Happy April! Today I want to shift gears and provide some “what not to do’s” when it comes to parts of the legal process that you may be involved in with your case. Mediation is a key part of many legal cases, and I want to shed some light on what not to do at your mediation.

As a refresher, mediation is, “a process wherein the parties meet with a mutually selected impartial and neutral person who assists them in the negotiation of their differences.”

So, what shouldn’t you do at a mediation?

Don’t be disrespectful. This should be common sense, but it still needs to be said. The point of mediation is an attempt to find some common ground between you and the other party. Even if you disagree about some things, you need to be civil and respectful. The mediator also deserves your respect. Acting rude or argumentative with them will only make them not want to work with you or cause the mediation to fail.

Don’t ignore the interests of the other side. This goes hand in hand with not being disrespectful. Mediation is an attempt at a compromise. If you are unwilling to listen to the other side, how can you expect them to listen to what you want? You may have strong feelings or disagree with what they are saying, but it is still beneficial to hear them out to see if any common ground can be found.

Don’t use your children as leverage. This really applies to divorce mediation, but it should go without saying that your children should NEVER be a bargaining chip to get what you want or to punish your spouse somehow. You need to have your children’s best interests at heart and using them to your advantage not only makes you look bad but will also lead to further conflict in what is already a stressful time.

Don’t come to mediation unprepared. The mediator will require you to bring documents about work, income, assets and liabilities, and information regarding your family/children. If you do not come adequately prepared, they will not be able to see the full picture of what is going on in your case, and trying to start negotiations to find a compromise without this full picture will be difficult and likely end up not solving the issues mediation was meant for.

I hope you all have found these tips on what not to do at your mediation helpful. Remember you can always ask your attorney for advice or clarity and make sure to listen to what they have to say. Mediation will go much smoother if you remember these tips and be cooperative with your attorney. They really do have your best interests at heart and want to see your case succeed. By avoiding the above tips, you are better at helping yourself to have the most successful mediation that you can.


*The thoughts and information in this blog do not constitute legal advice of any form. Please contact our office with any legal questions or concerns.

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