Every mediation is different, and can be customized according to the needs and desires of the party.
In fact, one of the greatest benefits of mediation is that that parties retain quite a bit of control over the process.
Here is what a typical mediation process may look like. The entire process typically takes between 3-10 two hour sessions.
The length of the process depends on:
The number of issues
The complexity of the issues
The willingness of the parties to cooperate, and move the process along
Prior to mediation, the parties will be asked to disclose certain information so that the mediator can be prepared ahead of time
Mediator will speak briefly with each party by phone to ensure an initial understanding of issues
Introductory Joint Session
Mediator explains meditator’s role
Mediator explains available alternatives
Mediator and Parties establish ground rules for mediation
Mediator and Parties establish agenda
Mediator is open for any questions before the mediation begins
Identification of Issues
General Opening Statements
Each party is given an opportunity to explain their position, concerns, and priorities. (Each party will later have the opportunity to explain more on each issue).
Mediator assists in identification of issues based on the parties opening statements, and other information
Mediator leads discussion on need for additional neutral experts, if any
Initial Discussion on Potential Points of Agreement
Mediator leads a discussion on potential points of agreement
This will give us a good foundation for moving forwards, and will allow us to see if we can remove any issues from consideration.
Final Decision on Issues to Be Mediated
The mediator and the Parties will arrive at a list of issues to be mediated
General discussion to prepare for Information Gathering Session
Information Gathering Session
Establish plan of information gathering (for example, finances, assets and liabilities)
Establish need for experts, if any.
Mediation Session (number of sessions varies):
Confirm Agenda for Session
Break Out Sessions and/or Joint Session
In most cases, the mediator will conduct breakout sessions with each Party with regards to each issue.
Typically, the mediator will shuttle back and forth, helping to resolve issues one by one in the established order.
Some Parties may prefer that all of this work be done in a joint session.
Memorializing the Final Agreement
If the Parties are able to agree, mediator will assist Parties in drafting an agreement
Depending on the circumstances, this agreement can be incorporated into a court order or judgement