The Mediation Process Explained

Mediation is used by the court system to help parties resolve conflicts. It can be helpful in cases of personal injury, employment, divorce, or child custody. During mediation, the conflicting parties meet with an unbiased third party to try and come to a resolution which works for both sides. Many people choose to go down the mediation route because it is much less expensive than hiring lawyers. But what is the mediation process like? Educating yourself beforehand can help you emotionally and physically prepare for what lies ahead.

First Steps

The mediation process begins when the mediator and opposing sides are both present. Usually children are required to not be present during the mediation session. The mediator will let both parties know about guidelines which must be followed so that the conflict can be resolved as smoothly as possible.

Determining the Issues at Hand

Both parties will have as much time as needed to discuss their side and interruptions from the opposing party are prohibited. The statements given will generally address both facts and the way given situations were seen from each party’s point of view. Even if both parties have attorneys, mediators prefer when the client speaks up as well so they can hear directly from the individual.

Negotiating and then Coming to a Resolution

After the main issues have been identified, the next step is to negotiate different parts of the settlement so an agreement can be reached as quickly as possible. For example, if one parent does not mind giving up parenting time during the holidays but wants to see the child every other weekend, this could be used as a bargaining chip. In certain cases, the mediator may decide to meet with each party individually to help solve underlying fears. Once the mediator has come up with several solutions after listening to each side, it may be possible to come to a resolution.

If you are in the New Orleans metro area consider using Bennett Wolff, a family law attorney in Metairie. Always seek the advice a professional attorney before making any decision on a path forward.