What Happens At A Mediation Meeting?

Choosing to separate can be a difficult decision for couples. But that isn’t the final decision you will need to make. In order to legally separate you will need to make a few more decisions. One of the core decisions you need to make is what method you and your partner will use. Mediation is often chosen by couples because it has many benefits over traditional litigation. Instead of you and your partner working individually with a lawyer or legal team, both of you work with a mediator. Results are in complete control of the individuals instead of the court, which allows for better results. One of the most common questions clients have about mediation is what they can expect during the process. And while different mediators might do things slightly differently, here is the overarching process.

Meeting With Your Mediator

At the beginning of the process, you and your spouse will meet with the mediator. After brief introductions, they will explain the ground rules of their sessions. Sessions may be done in person or via online communication apps like Zoom. Online sessions generally require video chats so the mediator can see both parties. Early in the meeting, your mediator will go over the process including any clarification on subjects including confidentiality, timeline, and securing an agreement. Mediators are not there to support one side or the other. Mediators are impartial and are there to facilitate the conversation. They do not judge or make final decisions for either party, but they may guide the conversation so that every aspect of the agreement is discussed before it is finalized.

Do I Need To Bring Anything To My Mediation Session?

Generally, you do not need to bring anything to your mediation sessions. Unlike litigation, you do not need to provide evidence to your mediator. A single mediation session is not a legal process in the sense that a court visit would be. If there is any pertinent information that you believe your mediator should be aware of, you can bring it up. However, you are not appealing your case to a mediator, the mediator is just there to help both parties decide on an agreement that works for both of them.

Can I Meet With My Mediator Privately?

While some mediators may choose to have a private meeting with either party, this is not always beneficial. Remember, the goal of mediation is to work out a solution that works for both parties. While you may feel it is important for your mediator to “hear your side” they are not making the final judgment call on your court order, you and your ex-spouse are. In some instances, a separate meeting can undermine the goal of mediation by making the other party feel like they are being left out of the discussion.

Contact Deirdre Healy’s Mediation Office For More Information

For more information on the mediation process, and how mediation has helped countless couples and businesses handle legal disputes outside of the courtroom, please contact our office. We want to remind everyone that any contact begun via email or our contact form does not establish attorney/client privilege.