By Sara Pitcher
Your divorce attorney will need to meet with you in advance of your mediation date to discuss the mediation process, the strengths and weaknesses of your case, review possible exhibits with you, and ensure that you are confident in the points of your case.
If you have any questions or reservations about the mediation process, you should raise them with your attorney at this meeting so that you can walk into mediation feeling as prepared as possible.
It is important that your divorce lawyer has reviewed potential exhibits and has a strong understanding of the case in advance of mediation.
Often there will be an exchange of information or documents in advance of mediation, even if complete discovery is avoided to ensure that the attorney has access to the information necessary for them to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the case. This is important to know in advance of mediation to put you in the best negotiating position.
If your attorney explains that your case has many strengths, but also some weaknesses, do not be alarmed. It is important for you to understand this in advance of mediation so you do not feel overwhelmed or caught off guard if those issues are raised by the opposing party at the mediation, and they likely will be.
The weaknesses in your case may be raised as a justification for certain aspects of their proposal. You will likely take the same approach to the opposing party’s case and should not be alarmed when they also use the same strategy.
Confidential Mediation Statement
Your divorce attorney may also wish to review or prepare a confidential mediation statement with you at your meeting.
This is a summary of the case from your prospective, the expected evidence which supports your arguments, citations to relevant case law or statutes which support your position, a description of any settlement negotiations which have occurred in advance of the mediation, and an explanation of the relationship between the parties to allow the mediator to approach the parties and develop an understanding of the issues and how to approach them.
Mediation Strategy Tips
Your attorney will also likely want to discuss strategy and tips with you, which will vary depending on your lawyer and the specific facts of your case.
One tip that applies to most all mediations is to avoid using the phrase “final offer” or its equivalent unless you mean it. You will lose all credibility if you say that an offer is your final offer and then continue to negotiate past that point. If you say that an offer is your final offer, be prepared to leave the mediation if the offer is not accepted.
Related Divorce Mediation Articles:
- What Is Divorce Mediation?
- What Is The Mediator’s Role in Divorce Mediation?
- Who Can Be Present At My Mediation?