23 Questions to ask when preparing for mediation

Ian Walker

Ian Walker – Founder/ Director/ Solicitor/ Mediator/ Arbitrator

23 Questions to ask when preparing for mediation – Ian Walker

To get the most out of mediation, it is worthwhile prepare. Here are some questions to ask yourself in advance;

  1. What do you want to achieve? List your objectives in order of priority.
  2. What do you think the other person wants to achieve? List their objectives in order of priority.
  3. What do you think would make a realistic solution?
  4. What can you do to help the other person achieve what they want, and help them to help you to achieve what you want?
  5. When offering things, what can you realistically deliver?
  6. When asking for the other to do things, what can they realistically deliver?
  7. If you have let the other down, what can you do to demonstrate that you are reliable or can be trusted?
  8. If you have been let the other down, what can the other person do to demonstrate to you that they are reliable or can be trusted?
  9. What can you both do to improve communications? 
  10. If communications have been difficult, what can you both do differently, that is realistic and achievable?
  11. If you have relevant children, what are their wishes and what are their needs?
  12. If the children are older, is your mediator qualified to meet with them and take their views? Would this be helpful?
  13. How do you both work together to keep disagreement and conflict away from the children?
  14. How can you both manage meetings/handovers, to make the experience better for the children?
  15. If relations have been difficult, what do you do/say that wind the other up? Can you avoid pressing those buttons?
  16. How can you react differently if the other says anything which winds you up?
  17. What are the views of any relevant third parties and how will your proposals impact upon them?
  18. If you are discussing financial issues, then how quickly can you provide full and frank disclosure of your means? (So that you can get onto negotiations quicker)
  19. Have you budgeted to get Legal Advice in support of the mediation process? (If you don’t then you could end up spending more later on).
  20. If you do not resolve matters in mediation, how much will it cost to go to Court?
  21. What is the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement?
  22. What is the best alternative to a negotiated agreement? (And what is the cost and likelihood of achieving it?)
  23. What is your realistic bottom line? And what is the realistic bottom line of the other person?

In the Mediation;
Listen to what the other person has to say.
Acknowledge any concerns/issues they may have
Be respectful
Be willing to explore the proposals of the other person
Remember that mediation is about finding a solution together. It is not about you imposing your solution; it is about persuading the other. (This means that they need to feel that there is something in the plan for them).
Where the arrangements for children are concerned, the best outcomes take time to achieve. Be willing to be patient and to engage in a process.

You may have questions such as: What questions to ask in mediation for custody? What questions does a mediator ask a child? Who can attend mediation? What to expect in mediation child custody? We have created an FAQ’s page that can help answer those questions.

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