There are 6 steps to a formal mediation:
1) Introductions - Your Divorce Doctors® mediator will explain, in detail, the steps involved in the mediation process and what qualifications are necessary to be a mediator. The most important part of this introduction is to ensure both parties feel comfortable, that they understand the whole process is voluntary, and that mediation is for the benefit of both parties. The rule of confidentiality, under which all parties including the mediator are bound, will be thoroughly explained.
2) Statement of Issues – Each party will provide an opening statement of their issues and positions. This gives the mediator some insight into the issues to be discussed and the resolutions to be sought.
3) Bargaining and Generating Options – Typically after opening statements, the mediator will separate the parties into separate rooms, and then the mediator will have confidential meeting with each side to discuss possible resolution of the various issues. All meetings are kept in the strictest of confidence and only those communications allowed by a party can be repeated to the other party by the mediator. This requires much back and forth communication between the parties through the mediator, with the aid of the mediator.
4) Gathering Information - Summarizing often to keep everyone up to speed, your mediator will ask questions of both parties to better build a dialogue and understanding of the issues and positions.
5) Identifying the Issues - Common goals will be discovered and your mediator will assist in the discussion of your issues and how best to resolve those issues.
6) Reaching an Agreement – Through these discussions, the mediator will assist the parties to come to some common ground where resolution of the issues can be reached. With the complete resolution of the issues a mediation agreement to be signed by all the parties and to be binding resolution of the parties will be prepared and executed.