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Preparing for mediation will help you to achieve your desired outcomes. Family mediation is a voluntary, private process in which a neutral person – the mediator – helps you to reach a workable resolution with your spouse/partner. The mediator will not take sides nor force a resolution. Instead, mediators foster a constructive atmosphere with open communication, enabling you and your spouse/partner to discuss and resolve issues face to face. Some issues that are typically addressed include: marriage breakdown, support payments, division of property, and child custody. Mediation is beneficial because it affords you a great deal of control over the outcome, and it is much less expensive and complicated than it is to go to court. It can even reduce tensions and foster a cooperative atmosphere.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of mediation:

1.     Approach it in good faith. In order for mediation to work, both parties must genuinely want to come to a resolution. You must be willing to compromise, as the solutions reached through mediation are generally creative and tailored to the individual

2.     Be aware of the costs. Discuss with a Toronto divorce lawyer what the additional costs will be if the matter is not resolved by mediation. Settling early might affect the way you approach mediation, as it reduces the cost of the process.

3.     Know your case.   Prepare for mediation by reviewing what is important to you, and make sure that you have all the information necessary to reach a decision. In addition, it will be helpful for you to know your own priorities, and to have an understanding of the other party’s position. A Toronto divorce lawyer will help familiarize you with the important aspects of your case, and will be able to predict the possible outcomes – good or bad – of mediation.

4.     Prepare for compromise. Before heading into the mediation, consider a variety of solutions that you would like to reach. If you come up with one end goal and stick to it, the mediation will not be effective. You’re expecting the other side to cooperate and negotiate, so prepare resolution options ahead of time that will allow you to do the same.

5.     Let the mediator set the tone. Follow the mediator’s lead and be cooperative, non-confrontational and avoid personal attacks. Remember, you are not trying to prove your side of the story, but rather your goal is to reach a resolution and move on with your life. The more reasonable and rational you can be, the more effective mediation will be.

6.     Be persuasive and open to persuasion. Be sure to listen attentively to the other party and acknowledge when they’ve made a good point. Setting aside issues that you agree upon right way will speed up the process. Focus on communication in a positive and assertive manner. Your Toronto divorce lawyer can help you with information that will support your position, such as decisions on similar cases.

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