Preparing for Mediation
The mediation process allows participants to resolve complex legal disputes without costly and drawn out litigation. While mediation may not be as formal as a court hearing, a successful mediation still requires adequate preparation. It is vital that participants select a mutually agreed upon mediator, collect financial and other relevant documentation, and approach the mediation process with an open and communicative mindset.
The mediation attorneys of Jacobs Berger are qualified to act as both mediation attorneys and independent counsel during mediation. Our firm takes pride in helping clients through the mediation process. We believe in offering dynamic and personalized legal solutions which are tailored towards the needs and concerns of each one of our divorce and family law clients.
Call our office today to learn more about the mediation process and how you can prepare through a confidential and comprehensive Strategic Planning Session.
Mediation Preparation Lawyers Discuss Selecting a Mediator
After deciding on mediation as a conflict resolution method, the first step is often to find a mediator. Our Madison mediation lawyers believe it is essential that both parties involved have full faith in the mediator and are in 100 percent agreement about the selection. This is due to the fact that mediators must represent both parties’ perspectives and legal rights during the mediation process in an unbiased fashion.
Before making a selection, both parties should have the opportunity to interview the prospective mediator(s) to understand whether or not it is a good fit. It may be a good idea to ask about a mediator’s training and experience. Additionally, it is important that the personal connection is there, and there should be no conflicts in values, goals, or attitude.
Mediators can either be non-legal professionals or they can be mediation attorneys. For those who choose a non-attorney mediator, some individuals may also consider hiring independent legal counsel as well. In any case, choosing a mediator who can represent both parties is the best way to begin the mediation process.
Divorce Mediation Attorneys Help Clients Prepare Documentation
No matter what method you choose to resolve your family law legal disputes, collecting and sharing documents will almost certainly be involved. Mediation is no exception to this rule. Divorce paperwork often includes providing documentation including but not limited to:
- Existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
- Financial documentation including pay stubs, bank account statements, retirement account information, deeds to owned property, and more
- Any previous court orders
- Terms of temporary agreements that may already exist including child custody, child support, alimony, and more
- Records of any held debts such as mortgages, student loans, credit card debt, etc.
- Evidence of any domestic violence or other previous legal issues
To read more about how to prepare financially for divorce, please click here. The recommendations given in terms of financial preparation hold true regardless of what conflict resolution method you will be using to resolve your disputes.
The Importance of Keeping an Open Mind and a Cooperative Approach During Mediation
A key differentiator between mediation and other forms of legal conflict resolution is the cooperative nature of the proceedings. In litigation, there is a mindset of “winning” arguments in order to get what you desire. It is important to remember that in order for there to be a winner, there must also be a loser.
Our Morris County mediation attorneys like to approach mediation as a mutually beneficial form of conflict resolution. This starts by setting expectations. Often times the gut reaction to a court order or a legal judgment is to decry the terms as being unfair or unreasonable. A solid mediation preparation should involve setting realistic expectations so you can avoid the shock of the proposed terms of your divorce or other family law agreement.
After understanding where you stand from a legal perspective, individuals in a mediation should keep an open mind and try to understand the needs and concerns of the other party as well. Often times, your goals may be more closely aligned than initially thought. This is particularly true when it comes to issues involving children, where the mediation process can truly shine and allow both co-parents to express what would make an agreement favorable for the child.
Contact our Mediation Preparation Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our mediation attorneys understand that a successful mediation begins with a successful preparation process. We believe in helping our Morris County clients from local communities through the mediation process from beginning to end. Our divorce attorneys understand that the legal process can be complex, and therefore requires multidimensional and personalized legal solutions. Our firm is built on the belief that the needs and concerns of the client should always come first.
If you or a loved one have any questions about the mediation process and how it can help you to successfully resolve a divorce or other family law legal matter, please contact us online or contact us over the phone by calling our Morristown, NJ offices at (973) 710-4366 today for a confidential and comprehensive Strategic Planning Session.