If you have recently separated from a partner, you already know how stressful it can be for a couple to come to mutual decisions regarding issues such as parenting, finances and property settlement. When ex-partners cannot come to an agreement over these matters, the next step to take is mediation. Family Mediation
is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is done outside of court and in the midst of an impartial third party in order to negotiate an outcome that works best for all parties involved.
In order to ensure that you get the most out of your mediation session, it is important to prepare yourself for what lies ahead of you. In today’s article, we have a look at 5 tips that will help you better prepare yourself for family mediation, so read on to find out more.
Bring All Necessary Notes and Documents
Bringing notes or documents that you think may be helpful to your family mediation session is always encouraged. Your notes may consist of the key points that you would like to discuss with your ex-partner, along with notes on what you would like to achieve at the end of the session. Preparing your notes days or even weeks in advance is an important step that we always recommend our clients do in order to ensure that they are well prepared for mediation and able to address as many topics of disagreement as possible.
Make Time For Your Mediation Session
In an ideal world, mediation would be over in 30 minutes and everyone would go home happy. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Mediation sessions can take several hours, and although one session is usually enough for most couples to resolve their issues, others may require a second or even third session if they are unable to come up with a mutual agreement in their initial session. Be sure to book your mediation session on a day where you do not have any other commitments so that you can be 100% present and not distracted by the clock.
Enter With An Open Mind
One of the most important things to take to heart when preparing for mediation is to enter negotiations with an open mind. Mediation will not work if you are completely unwilling to compromise with your ex-partner, which is why we always advise clients to come up with a list of options that they are willing to negotiate on prior to your mediation session. These options should include compromises that you are willing to make in order to reach a mutual agreement, and should be as fair as possible for all parties involved.
Make An Effort To Listen
When it comes to mediation, giving your ex-partner space and time to discuss their opinions and feelings is paramount. Communication is the biggest tool that you can utilise for successful mediation, and respecting one another by truly listening is key. It goes without saying that you are likely to disagree with some of the things that your ex-partner says, but by really listening to their point of view without any judgement or preconceived notions, you will be better able to understand where they are coming from.
Regulate Your Emotions
Separation and divorce can be incredibly emotionally charged experiences for everyone involved. This is why we advise that you come up with ways to handle your emotions, whether they be positive or negative ones, prior to your mediation session. If you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated during the mediation process, remember that you can simply ask your mediator for a short break before resuming discussions. This will allow you to gather your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way and can help avoid any arguments from erupting.
A Final Note
It is important to remember that mediation is never about winning -- it is about coming to a mutual agreement that works in the best interests of everyone involved. For mediation to be successful, it is important that you come prepared, with an open mind and willing to come to a compromise with your ex-partner.
If you want to learn more about how mediation can help parties to reach agreements on financial, parenting and property disputes without having to go to the Family Court, do not hesitate to contact us at (03) 9670 7577 today.