Your Expectations of the Mediator


Your first appointment

At the beginning of the first session, I will collect basic information. For example, if it's a child custody case, I will ask for the names of those residing with you, your work schedule, the child's school, what the current child custody arrangements are, and if there are existing court orders  (please bring copies of existing Orders with you). Then I would explain about confidentiality, how and when I meet separately, answer your questions about the process, and costs. Finally, I ask what your priorities are for the meeting and we address them individually. 

During mediation the mediator helps you

  • create a list of issues/problems
  • identify your needs, wants and concerns
  • clarify your priorities and reduce misunderstandings
  • take a fresh look at options and possible solutions
  • decide what information is needed to make an informed decision
  • choose solutions that meet the needs of all concerned
  • reality test the solutions
  • reach an agreement, OR obtain a realistic understanding of what happens if you don’t reach an agreement

The mediator manages and structures the mediation process

  • levels the playing field
  • lets you talk without being interrupted
  • determines that relevant information is shared between the parties
  • assures that any agreement made is voluntary and made with your consent

Other duties and responsibilities of the mediator

  • to be impartial, and advise you of any possible bias or prejudice
  • to control, manage, and structure the mediation process
  • to draft any agreements made
  • to terminate mediation if further progress toward a reasonable agreement is unlikely

Your Mediator's Expectations of You


How to prepare for mediation

It is vital for you to know:

  • your goals and objectives (what you want)
  • why those goals or objectives are important to you 

If there is an open court case, as part of the information relevant to your mediation, it's helpful to ask your attorney what you are entitled to under the law, and the strengths and weaknesses of your positions. 

Your role and how to make mediation most productive

  • bring up and discuss your issues and concerns
  • choose to be curious and interested instead of defensive 
  • brainstorm and consider options which also meet the other person’s needs
  • show respect for the other person - no blaming, name-calling, put-downs, threats or ultimatums
  • make use of past experience to reality-test but be willing to focus on the future
  • be honorable - say what you mean and mean what you say