A Successful Family Law Mediation, Ten Top Tips
18th December 2014
By Lisa Wagner
Are you separating? If you are then you may be considering family law mediation as a good option to help you sort through all the issues that you are facing. If you are considering family law mediation then keep reading as this article contains some valuable information about how to get the most out of any family law mediation process.
There are many sayings used in the building trade…one of them I am comfortable sharing with you today, it’s “measure twice and cut once” – it goes to the heart of the message that I am wanting to convey to you today, that is the importance of preparation. Preparation ensures the success of any event. You don’t win a gold medal at the Olympics by simply turning up on the day. It requires years of training, commitment and sacrifice (built on a huge amount of natural talent no doubt!)
The benefits of preparation are equally as valuable in family law mediation as they are in the building trade or in the elite sports arena so, to help you on your way to a more successful family law mediation here are my ten top preparation tips:
- Know your best and your worst outcome to a negotiated settlement. Get expert family law advice early on.
- Ask yourself beforehand “why has this family law matter not settled yet?”. Reflect on the timing of the mediation. Sometimes people are at different stages in the grieving process after separation and not yet ready to tackle all the hard issues.
- Get comfortable with the subject matter. If you are embarking on a family law property settlement discussion understand what you are talking about. Consider securing some accounting coaching before your joint meeting if you feel unsure.
- Understand your emotional triggers and where possible consider some personal counselling to help you work through those issues and develop sustainable and constructive strategies so that you can stay in control.
- Practice being empathetic and making the other person feel heard. You are more likely to achieve a “win/win” solution this way.
- Take care of practical issues. If you have the care of children on that day organise someone else to pick them up and look after them for you so that you are not distracted by outside issues.
- Have realistic expectations. If long term agreements are unlikely at the outset brainstorm a list of short-term goals….and prioritise them.
- Have an exit plan worked out early on and definitely before you arrive on the day. Taking greater care of the process can increase your confidence.
- Identify whether there are any issues for you that are non-negotiable. If so, don’t lose sight of these priorities. Keep going back to them in your mind before the mediation begins. In the throes of discussion you can sometimes lose sight of what was most important to you.
- Focus on the problem, not the people. Gather a list of possible third party experts you can call on if you reach an impasse. That way any roadblock may be navigated without ending up at loggerheads with your ex-spouse over an issue which neither of you know very much about.
Taking stock of these strategies before embarking upon a family law mediation will ensure that you are in the best position possible to reach a sustainable resolution of your family law matter.
At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers we offer registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners and we are also Accredited Family Law Specialists. If you would like to talk about your separation or how family law mediation may work for you and your family then call me, Lisa Wagner, on 9437 0010 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.