Many legal cases, including domestic cases, come to a settlement/agreement between the parties prior to a final hearing. One way to reach a settlement is through mediation, where a neutral third party facilitates negotiation and agreement between the parties1.
To help encourage the best setting for mediation to hopefully get a case settled and an agreement reached, it is best to be prepared. The following list includes three (3) key items to assist with working toward a successful mediation.
- Background information:
Mediation is a settlement negotiation. It is helpful for the mediator to have some background of the case to understand how the parties have gotten to their present situation and the history of the case. Have past orders, financial documents, and anything else that can bring the mediator up to speed in a short amount of time. This can help cut down on some time for explanation of the lengthy history of a case, which may not be relevant to the mediation at hand.
- A Proposal:
Mediation can move more quickly if the parties both have a skeleton of an agreement with the background and basics filled in. For example, when the parties were married and divorced, the date of the last Court Order, etc. It does not have to be complete, but if an agreement is reached, drafting can be much quicker if there is a skeleton with some basic information readily available to be completed.
Okay, it is not a tangible item to bring, but a good night’s rest, breakfast, and patience can absolutely make mediation go more smoothly. Mediation can last for several hours, and there are times when the mediator is with the other party when it is unknown what is happening in the other room. You do not want to be stuck in the other room tired, hungry, and anxious. Try to get a full night sleep the night before, eat a substantial breakfast, and be armed with the knowledge that it may be a lengthy session-which hopefully may lead to resolution. It may make the process a bit easier to complete.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring some general notes about mediation. This blog is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions or concerns about your case, CIYOU & DIXON, P.C. may be able to help evaluate same. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.
- See generally, Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution