The best way to get the most out of mediation is thorough preparation. Adequate preparation leads to a successful dispute resolution in a Toronto divorce case. When it comes to mediation, you only get what you put in. Here are five tips on how to make the most out of mediation.
Although Toronto mediation and divorce solutions aim to get parties to agree on specific issues, it is not a collaborative exercise. Therefore, expect some form of competitive negotiation. One of the issues participants discuss during mediation is how to split properties. This sensitive issue often requires competitive negotiation.
Family mediation in Toronto is often about discussing money and property, which makes it a zero-sum process. If one of the participants attempts collaborative negotiation, he should not expect the other party to do the same. Therefore, participants should expect a competitive negotiation and not a collaborative one.
Avoid dropping anchors during mediation. Participants need to understand that negotiation begins much earlier than mediation. An anchor refers to a number that one of the participant’s legal representative may quote at some point in the lawsuit. In most cases, the other participant usually remembers the anchor months later.
Any number that one of the participants drops usually sounds like an offer. For instance, something like “I am willing to go up to $50,000” could sound like a qualifier and provide hints to the other party where the issue is likely to settle. The anchor can significantly impact a party’s valuation, and this is the kind of hint you should avoid providing.
Avoid Phone Discussions
Like dropping anchors, avoid engaging the other party or debating issues via the telephone. Such discussions can offer valuable insights into your mental impressions of the issues up for discussion during the mediation. Worse, once you admit that one of your arguments is weaker than the other party’s, you will have difficulty negotiating during mediation.
It is also essential to avoid conversations with the other party outside the mediation room. Although some people may want to feel out the other party, you should be extremely careful about what you say outside the mediation room. Avoid sharing your thoughts or feelings outside the mediation room. Communicating with the other party after the beginning of mediation is often perceived as a sign of weakness.
Hone your negotiation skills and use them during the mediation. Avoid asking for more than what you would generally need. This means that you should be reasonable with your demands. Making outrageous demands could kill the mediation prematurely.
Start With Your Best Case
When negotiating, the rule of thumb is to avoid asking for more than you could probably get at trial. Nevertheless, start with your best case and use new information to make small concessions that will not put off the other party. Consider giving a rationale for your demands in the beginning. However, you do not need to provide the rationale for your demands as the discussions proceed. Instead, submit your demands without the rationale.
Spouses going through a divorce require practical and affordable divorce solutions in Toronto, ON. Please contact Positive Solutions Divorce Services at 888-779-8777 for a free consultation with our online mediation specialists for separating couples in Ontario.
Toronto ON M5X 1C7