How to Prepare
- Have the information you need to settle the case. If the case involves dividing property, know as much as you can about that property. If there are assets that should not be divided, be prepared to demonstrate why. If the case involves custody of children, know what you propose and why it is beneficial for the children. Knowledge is very powerful when trying to resolve a dispute.
- Be prepared to consider new, possibly contrary, information. There are many issues that may need to be resolved, and your perspective on the matter may be very different from the person on the other side of the dispute.
- Have patience. Resolving disputes involving children, property, and support is a logistically challenging task. It takes time and real effort to resolve a substantial family case. At times the process necessarily involves an extended time (sometimes the majority of the time) when the mediator is in the other room, working with the other party and his or her attorney.
- If custody of children is at issue, consider the children's interests independent of your own. The Divorcing Parent's Seminars that are required in many counties are very helpful in thinking about how to make custody disputes less difficult for your kids. If you have not yet taken the seminar, I ask that every party in every custody case review the Children's Bill of Rights.
- Be prepared to compromise. Settlement only happens when both parties benefit.