The first decision you and your attorney should make is to decide on a mediator. Your mediator should be someone who is familiar with the Judges in the county where your case is pending, the Court you are in, and your Judge’s certain proclivities. No mediator can predict what a particular Judge will do, but a mediator who has practiced before that particular Judge may be able to share their experiences in facts similar to your case that they know the Judge has ruled on before.
In divorce cases, it is very important to the mediator to (before mediation) receive all of the pleadings that have been filed in the case, including any inventories and appraisements, temporary orders, and initial pleadings filed by the parties. It is also important (prior to mediation) for your attorney to provide your position statement (what you want) to the mediator prior to mediation at least early enough for the mediator to review it. As a mediator, I appreciate having this information one to two days before mediation. I actually read everything! That allows the mediator to review the information and thus possibly reduce the time you are in mediation. In divorce cases, it allows the mediator to create a spreadsheet as to the community property to be divided, thus giving the mediator a “heads up” as to what the property issues are. The position statement also allows the mediator to know what custody issues, if any, are going to be at issue.
It is also very important to speak with your attorney about your mediation, and how the process works. My next blog with address what your day is going to be like in mediation! Can’t say it is easy, but most cases settle in mediation, so you will get through it!