Mediation is when you go to a qualified third party to resolve a dispute without going to court. A mediator is someone who holds mediation sessions and acts as an impartial witness to discussions. The mediator will keep the conversation flowing and interject if someone is not contributing effectively or becoming hostile. Mediation has been used for years to solve contract disputes, disputes with neighbours, but most commonly family disputes, specifically divorce and separation. Although this is a very responsible and healthy route to go down, awaiting a mediation session can cause a lot of anxiety and distress in many people. If you are struggling to prepare for your mediation session you should follow these steps.
Ask to Meet Your Mediator Alone
If you have any concerns about how the other party will behave then you should speak to your mediator one to one to voice these worries. Your mediator cannot discuss your private conversation with the other party. This can help a great deal when it comes to the mediation session as your mediator knows what to look out for and what might be too much for you to handle. The mediator will likely do this with the other party and therefore treat you both equally. This way all of you can avoid some of the major pitfalls in mediation which is leaving things unresolved or having to reschedule due to being too emotional.
Know Your Rights
A mediator is there to keep things fair but it is important you do your research. The mediator’s job is to supervise an amicable discussion, but not obligated to win one party a certain amount of monetary settlement. Use the internet, books and you could even hire a lawyer to advise you on what you deserve.
Write Everything Down and Bring Evidence
Having hard copies of your worries, your request and even proof to back you up is much more valuable than word of mouth. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember things when you are in the moment, so having everything on paper will safeguard you from missing anything out or not being able to back yourself up.
Understand is a Negotiation
Don’t forget that you have chosen mediation to avoid a fight, therefore you shouldn’t expect a 100% win. You will have to negotiate something, as will the other party. Be mentally prepared as this will help you keep your emotions under control.