People often ask me what the ideal mediation client would look like. The initial answer would be that no one can be in mediation by him or herself. In fact the ideal mediation client needs to be portrayed as 2 people, or more, who are in conflict and have the desire to work out their differences and move forward with their lives assisted by a neutral professional, the mediator. In this context, the parties can speak, express their needs, interests and concerns, listen to those of the other people in the room, and take control of their own lives by making their own informed decisions. They do not wish to hire separate lawyers, pay a large advance retainer and start a long, drawn-out litigious process.
- The ideal mediation client should be informed about the way the process works. Many mediators, myself included, will offer a free consultation, to meet with the parties, explain the process to them and help them assess if this is the process that is right for them.
The ideal mediation client will understand that in order to reach a good agreement, all parties need to make full disclosure of their assets and to work with the other party in good faith.
The ideal mediation client will understand that by choosing mediation, all parties may have to make some compromise on some of their wishes but they get to decide themselves how that is going to work out rather than having a judge tell them what to do. The outcome is an agreement that should be mutually agreed upon by all and not a judgment against the other side, defined by finding fault with the adversary and trying to get something over the adversary. In mediation, it is not a question of winning and losing, it is helping the parties look at the best settlement possible for all involved.
The ideal mediation client does not want their divorce or their disagreements to destroy each other and their families.
The ideal mediation client chooses mediation because it is much more cost effective and the desired outcome can be accomplished in much less time than through the adversarial process.
The ideal mediation client may look to the mediator for advice, but as a neutral, we don’t give our clients advice nor do we tell the parties what to do. If the parties wish, they can consult before, during or at the end of the mediation with separate lawyers who will review and advise from their client’s point of view.
The ideal mediation client recognizes that success in mediation isn’t getting everything you think you want or deserve. Success in mediation is getting the parties into a position of being able to make informed choices between the best options available.
Are you or is anyone you know an “Ideal Mediation Client?” Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or contact us for more information.
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If you have any questions or concerns about Mediation,
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please don’t hesitate to contact me today!
jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator divorce and family mediation upper east side of manhattan (nyc) new york, ny (212) 472-8626 firstname.lastname@example.org connect on