Should You Do A Pre-Mediation Conference Call?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsIt might seem counter-intuitive to have a call to discuss what you think should be part of the mediation process, but a growing number of divorce mediation specialists are recommending pre-mediation conference calls. Here’s why you too should consider having one.

Making mediation more efficient

The single biggest reason to never say no to a pre-mediation conference call no matter how busy you may be; is because it is actually a way to save time in the long run. By getting everyone on the same page on expectations from the mediation process, all parties can go in ready to get the job done. It will ensure all the right people are in the room when the actual mediation takes place. More importantly, it could also help you define timelines and schedule sessions for the mediation to take place.

Get things moving

During the pre-mediation call, everyone gets to know who the other parties involved are and also allows you and your spouse to better understand the mediator and their style. With the introductions out of the way, you will be able to make more headway during your first few face-to-face sessions with the mediator.

This will also help your attorneys, who may or may not be actively involved in discussions related to the mediation sessions, to be present and apprised of the other parties stand on various issues. Armed with this insight, they can draft the first version of a settlement agreement that covers all bases.

Don’t fly blind

If you enter your first few meditation sessions unprepared, you might find yourself on the back-foot. This might mean you either agree too easily to some demands your spouse makes, or are unsure of your views in some areas, making the entire session head nowhere fast. Use the pre-mediation call to get a grip on what it is your ex considers key issues, and arm yourself with adequate research and documentation and even a plan on what you think a workable solution will be.

What a pre-mediation conference call won’t do

A pre-mediation call isn’t the answer to all your problems. It certainly isn’t a substitute for the actual divorce mediation itself. Don’t expect to magically arrive at a solution to some of your problems on the conference call. What the call is intended to do is decide on the scope of the mediation, areas that both you and your soon to be ex feel are contentious or important enough to warrant debate. Think of the call as the index of a book that gives you an idea of what lies ahead, but doesn’t get into the meat of the discussion.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation.