The initial appointment with a divorce mediator is usually just an introduction to the process and what the mediator needs to proceed (including both parties providing the mediator with copies of important disclosure documents). As stated before, mediation appointments, especially the first one, are made to be as comfortable and relaxing as possible. This is to help foster and facilitate a healthy negotiation.
The following meetings are a little more focused and to the point. If both parties have done as requested a provided disclosure documentation to the mediator, then the mediator can should have a pretty good idea of where everything stands and have a good starting point. Typically the mediator will start with the issues that are closest to settlement first and work up to the more complicated issues. Resolving the easier items first helps to build trust between the two parties and an understanding as to where the other side is coming from.
Occasionally the mediator may decide to meet with each party individually to allow each to speak freely. It is important that each party build a level of trust with the mediator and even if they don't feel comfortable saying something in front of the other party, that the can say it to the mediator individually. These break out sessions may also be used when the environment gets too contentious between parties and the can't stop arguing, pointing fingers or assigning blame. Removing the parties from that situation as soon as possible helps everyone to re-focus and move forward.
The mediator's job throughout all of this is to carefully listen to both parties and understand what they are saying, and what their wants and needs are. With this information the mediator can come up with compromise solutions that can meet the needs of both parties as best as possible. If you're looking for a qualified mediator, please call Richard Ross Associates today.