Relevant Facts Matter in Mediation
Video Transcribed: How do you prepare for a child custody mediation in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa child custody attorney James Wirth, and I’m answering frequently asked questions regarding family law. And that’s the question that came in is, what can you do to prepare for mediation?
Well, there’s a couple of pointers that I have. So the first thing is when you’re going to mediation, if you want it to be successful, you’ve got to be prepared in that you know all of the relevant facts and circumstances. You have your case prepared and presented, you’ve done a discovery.
So what that means is, is that if you’re talking about child custody, all the factors that go into that in your best interest, you’ve got all of your evidence together. Any concerns you have about the other parent, you’ve got all the evidence that you present to the judge ready to go.
And that likely has been distributed to the other side, through discovery. Any concerns that the other side has, you already know what they are. You’ve done discovery and asked them the questions they’ve told you those things.
So essentially, you need to know what your case would look like if you presented it to a judge. So you have a likelihood of how it would be received. So that’s the first thing, be prepared in knowing all of the facts and circumstances, having your evidence together, and knowing all of the other side’s evidence at the point to where, if it goes to trial, there are no additional surprises.
The second thing is you need to know what you want. When you go into mediation, the mediator is not about deciding it as a judge would. A mediator’s job is to reach an agreement by trying to get compromise from both sides until an agreement is reached.
Or best case scenario, you’ve got a mediator that comes up with a novel win-win solution to where both sides can get what they want. Usually, there’s some compromise involved. Sometimes, a creative mediator might find a good win-win scenario. But in any case, when you go into the mediation, you need to know what you want, and you need to know also what you’re willing to give up.
What are you willing to compromise on? What are you not willing to compromise on? And then what is your bottom line? And those are the main things that you need to know so that when the mediator’s going back and forth, you know what you’re willing to give up, you know how far you’re willing to go.
You know what’s important to you and what is not as important to you. Because if the mediator can find out that something’s more important than the other side, and then something else is more important to the other side than you, then you might be halfway to a win-win there and get a solution. They can save everybody a lot of time and a lot of money.
So the last point I have for you then is when you go into mediation, you need to know what your costs are going to be if you settle it that day at mediation, versus the cost of going to a trial. Trials can be expensive. It takes a lot of time preparation, a lot of time being in court, a lot of time paying an attorney.
So you need to factor in those costs when you’re looking at whether a settlement is reasonable or not, because settling at mediation, is almost always cheaper than going to trial. So just be prepared hared for that in advance.
And then if everybody on both sides does all of those things, there’s a good chance that a compromise can be reached that works for both parties and saves the court a little bit of time on a trial and saves the parties a lot of risk in going to trial and paying for additional attorney’s fees and things.
So hopefully that answers your question. If you’ve got other questions about Tulsa family law, or want to talk to an attorney ahead of a mediation, give my office a call and you can do that by going to makelaweasy.com.