• Temara Willis

How to remain in control during mediation.

I have written a few blogs about the importance of preparation, and once again, I can not stress this enough: preparation, preparation and more preparation. To remain in control, you need to be prepared. Sometimes, people will think that 'mediation' isn't serious or meaningful - just a conversation or a step in the process. However, this isn't the case. You are spending your time and money by attending, with the goal being to reach an agreement. You will even sign an "Agreement to Mediate" that commits you to the process. So be prepared.

And importantly, remember that mediation requires full disclosure, just like when meeting with your lawyer, which means paperwork!

Also, you need a strategy, and you need to be clear about your needs and anticipate the other person's needs. How will you respond if they propose a 50/50 split of assets, want to retain the house, or request want 100% care of the children? How will you react to the other person if they don't or can't table their needs at all? How will you ensure that you remain calm and level headed?

Next, have the support that you need. This can be legal support, financial support or emotional support. You can come prepared with this support, seek it during the session by making telephone calls or asking them to attend in person. However, please note that you need to advise Adelaide Family Mediation before turning up with your support person. Both parties need to agree on who is in attendance, and a surprise isn't helpful and can be awkward.

Thirdly, don't be afraid to negotiate. Mediation is your opportunity to focus on what you both need versus your legal position. This doesn't mean that you can't stand firm on your position or the legal advice you have been provided, but it does mean that you can listen, problem solve, make proposals, and reach an agreement. It is best if you were prepared to make suggestions and offers to resolve the matters. If you cannot reach an agreement, any offer made in mediation are void; these proposals do not bind you. If you do get an agreement, you will have time to review it before you are required to sign anything.

Adelaide Family Mediation provides you with the tools that you need to come prepared before a mediation. Take the time necessary to review the workbook, so you get the most out of your mediation and remain in control. We send the workbook with the appointment confirmation for the joint mediation session. It is an essential tool worth reading and completing.

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