Mediation is a settlement process where parties to a conflict, and their legal advisors, sit down with a neutral facilitator (the “mediator”), to resolve their conflict in a way that is mutually beneficial.
Why should you mediate?
Most judges work very hard to find the best solutions for families, but they are limited by the amount of time they have and by some of the rules they have to follow. This means that they often look at Indiana “guidelines” in making their decisions. However, In mediation, parties are able to be more creative, to spend as much time as they’d like exploring possible solutions, and to create a plan that is unique for their family. If parties are able to work through their differences, they will always create a better solution for their family than a judge can.
How does mediation work?
Mediation typically occurs in a combination of group sessions and caucuses. In a group session, all parties to the conflict, their lawyers, and any essential third parties, meet together in the same room. Caucuses are meetings that occur between the mediator and only one party and/or their lawyers. Intake sessions always occur in caucuses, but the other stages of mediation may also occur in this format, with the parties located in separate rooms and the mediator moving between the rooms.
What Should I Do To Prepare for Mediation?
1. If this is a family matter, complete the exercises on www.uptoparents.org
2. Create a list of things you want to resolve in mediation.
3. Create a list of goals or outcomes that you would like to see in mediation, and think through the importance or priority of each of these.
4. Consolidate all documents or other materials that you will want to refer to in the mediation process and have them ready to bring with you to mediation.
5. If you are working with a counselor or therapist, discuss the mediation process with them before the mediation session. If you have a pastor or spiritual advisor, you may also want to discuss this process with them so that you will be in best place mentally and emotionally to work through your disagreements.
6. If you are represented by a lawyer, you should meet with your lawyer before mediation so that he/she will know how best to represent you during the mediation session.