What is the purpose of mediation?
Divorces can be expensive, emotional, and messy but one way to try to limit those difficulties is through mediation. During mediation a trained, neutral third party meets with both spouses, usually separately, to discuss the issues in the case and tries to resolve them.
Mediation allows both parties to identify issues, present facts, bargain for solutions and come to a settlement. Coming to an agreement during mediation is often less stressful and less costly than battling it out during trial. Even if you cannot resolve all of your issues at mediation, you may be able to resolve some of your issues through mediation.
Another benefit of mediation, also known as a settlement conference, is the privacy it affords should your case end up at trial. All discussions during a mediation are private and confidential. In other words, if statements or offers are made during a mediation, and your case does not settle in mediation, your spouse cannot use the statements or offers that were made in mediation against you at a later court hearing or trial.
How to prepare for mediation
If you and your spouse have agreed to a mediation, come to the meeting prepared with a list of your concerns and your priorities. It’s also a good idea to have a budget and a list of assets and debts. Be prepared to listen and make concessions when possible. It can be helpful to sit down with an attorney before mediation to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case. This can help you prioritize the issues you want to settle outside of court.
Leave your emotions out of the discussion. Avoid saying things that will set off your ex’s temper or pride. Avoid attacking. Stick to the facts. Remember even when the discussion is uncomfortable, the more issues you can settle outside of a trial, the better off you will be. Mediation is useless if you or your spouse has an all or nothing attitude.
If mediation fails you still have a right to take your issues to trial and allow a judge to decide the outcome. If you have an attorney representing you in the divorce, your attorney can attend the mediation or settlement conference with you. At Pangerl Law Firm, we appreciate the opportunity to represent clients in mediation or settlement conferences and to help them resolve their disputes outside of court whenever possible.
Pangerl Law Firm P.L.L.C. focuses on divorce, child custody, mother’s and father’s rights, child support, and all other areas of family law, as well as personal injury claims. Our office is located in Deer Valley and serves the greater Phoenix area, including the communities of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Cave Creek, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Anthem, New River, North Phoenix and Phoenix. For more information, call: 602-942-6200.