Considering Mediation: Is it Right for Me and When is the Right Time?

A man dressed in a blue shirt holds wooden blocks with a stamp of a man, a woman and a referee's hammer in his hands. The concept of divorce and mediation. Marriage agreement before a court.

There are many benefits of mediation. If it isn’t already, it should be the preferred choice for the resolution of marital, family, and other conflicts. When you step outside of the courtroom for resolution of disputes, you place fate in your own hands versus in the hands of the judge. In the courtroom, there is never enough time. There isn’t enough time to present everything you want the judge to know. There isn’t enough time for the judge to get to know you, and your specific set of circumstances. And sometimes you’re not even allowed to say what you really want to say. Not true in mediation. In mediation, you get to talk directly to the mediator and have a conversation with the mediator. You get to tell the mediator everything you want to about your case. You aren’t limited to a specific time because you control the session or sessions of mediation.

In Choosing a Mediator, What Should I Consider?

Each case presents a unique set of facts. You should select a mediator with a specific set of skills and knowledge tailored to the issues your case presents. If custody and parenting time are at issue, you want someone with experience and knowledge about helping you formulate an appropriate parenting time schedule that fits your life and your children’s needs. If division of property is an issue, you want someone knowledgeable in that field and who has the patience to work through each item of property.

Some mediators are retired or former judges. Some mediators are practicing attorneys who also practice mediation. Some mediators devote their entire practice to mediation. You should research and interview your mediator to help you select the mediator that best fits your needs.

A mediator provides value because of their unique problem-solving skills. A mediator will be neutral and help you to not just think outside the box, but to step outside of the box.

When Should I Participate in Mediation?

There aren’t any rules about when you should participate in mediation. Sometimes it is best to attend mediation early on, at the outset of your dispute, before the dispute grows and morphs into a bigger problem. Sometimes you need to conduct discovery and exchange of documents in order to have all the knowledge you need to discuss settlement of the issue. Whenever you elect to participate in mediation is your decision and that time will be the right time. Sometimes you’ll mediate over just one day. Other times you’ll mediate over a span of a couple weeks or a couple months. What is certain is that at the end of mediation, if you are able to reach agreements, you will absolutely feel more comfortable with the agreements reached and feel more satisfied as you put those agreements into action because you had a part in your future.

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