10 Tips for Successful Domestic Mediation
1-Remember that the objective for mediation is compromise.
Imagine if your case was to go to court and you were to lose everything you were hoping to gain. Mediation allows both sides the opportunity to reach a compromise you can both live with.
2- Try to reach reasonable goals during mediation.
Search for reasonable goals in light of the age and needs of your children. For example, if you have an Infant don’t expect the other side to commit to buying him a car when he turns 16. We cannot accurately determine what the financial future holds for the other side. That type of demand may not be able to be met.
3- Try to set your emotional hurt to the side.
Sometimes parties are unwilling to compromise because they are still feeling wounded by the other side. Try not to let your emotions rule your check book by spending time and money in litigation when it could better be used for the well-being of your children now and later when you are ready to pay for college.
4- Don’t fix what’s not broken.
If you are already divorced and have a parenting plan in place that is working for everyone, but need to make some changes, only make the necessary changes. Don’t change the stuff that is already working.
5- Remember communication is Key.
After mediation is settled you may want to walk away and not look back. But if you have small children remember both parents have to work together for the success of the children. If you find that you are having difficulty communicating don’t hesitate to call your mediator and schedule a new session, or look into working with a co-parenting coordinator or counselor. Sometimes it just takes a third party neutral to help you reach a renewed common ground.
6- Understand that what you think you are entitled to, doesn’t always mean that the law will agree with you.
A good mediator can help both sides clearly reach their objectives by helping them better understand what Georgia law says about custody, child support, alimony, etc.
7- Be open minded.
Remember you may not always agree with the solutions offered by the other side. Instead of objecting to them outright, be willing to offer a compromising counter-solution. You will reach your common goals much faster that way.
8- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
During meditation try not to get bogged down with the smaller issues such as who gets the T.V. , bedroom suit, and kitchenware. Instead focus your efforts on settling the larger issues such as child custody, child support, health insurance, etc.
9- Remember every dollar counts.
If are unable to settle a conflict over something with a cash value of $10,000 and you just can’t live without it, don’t just give up and go to court. If you opt to go to court, you will likely spend double that amount in legal fees.
10- Remember if the other side wins, so will you.
This may be easier said than it is heard. But if you keep focused on the “end game”, which is a successful mediation, then you will not only reduce the stress and tension between you, but you will have more control over the process and walk away feeling as though you got a fair deal.