Prior to attending mediation, you should consider the answers to following the questions:
1. What is the conflict really about for you? Does your view change when you think about it from the other party’s point of view?
2. How are your children affected by the dispute? What are your children’s most important needs and interests?
3. Is any conflict caused by misunderstandings or hurt feelings? What are the misunderstandings or hurt feelings that are causing it?
4. What are you and the other party in agreement on? What do you disagree about?
5. What information or documents might cause the other party to change their mind about the things you disagree about? What might cause you to change your mind?
6. Are there objective guidelines or rules you could agree on that might help resolve the dispute?
7.What would you like to accomplish at the mediation?
8. What does the mediator need to understand to help you accomplish your goals? What does the other party need to understand?
9. What would you need to feel satisfied with the outcome of the mediation? What do you think that the other party needs to feel satisfied? Is it an apology? A change in behavior? Payment of money?
10. If you can reach a good agreement in mediation, how will the agreement affect your relationship with the other party? As you compare possible agreements with the alternatives, consider the costs, time and effort required, effect on your relationships with the other party as well as your children, family and friends, and the value of getting the matter resolved cooperatively.
11. If you don’t reach agreement, what is most likely to happen? What the best
possible alternative if you don’t reach agreement? What is the worst possible alternative? This means developing a clear understanding of the strengths and the weaknesses of your case before you go to mediation.
12. Are you comfortable with the risks of not reaching an agreement, such as going to court?
13. What might the other party say or do that would make you upset, and what might you say or do that would make the other party upset? What can you do to avoid getting upset and causing the other party to get upset?
Questions based upon the American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, "Preparing for Family Mediation "