Utah courts often require you to mediate if you are party to a divorce or custody case. Sometimes this happens earlier in the case if it seems like a settlement is likely. Other times, the mediation comes later. A successful mediation can end the case and save you money.
Christensen Law is a Salt Lake City law firm, and its attorneys can help you in court and at mediation. Obviously, our advice is tailored to specific individuals, situations, and cases. However, we provide below some general tips to keep in mind.
At mediation, you will be negotiating and possibly agreeing to a long-term arrangement. You must know what you need and what you want. Some of your needs and wants are obvious to you. Others are not so obvious. An attorney can help you avoid pitfalls and traps from a sloppy settlement.
Don’t Worry About Being Too Prepared
There is no script that you must follow. You will find that the mediator will effectively push the discussion along.
Keep Long-Term Consequences in Mind
We have two specific warnings for long-term consequences.
- We understand that you want the case to be over as soon as possible. Wanting to end the case quickly can lead you to accepting a bad settlement. However, if you cannot live with the result, you will be in court again.
- We understand that there are issues or items important to you. We also understand that things are sometimes unfair. Sometimes fighting only makes it worse. There are times when you will need to cut your losses.
Be prepared to be patient. Mediation sessions often last several hours. Often there is not much progress in the first couple of hours. Sometimes there is an agreement, but it takes a long time to fine tune the details.
Ensure the Settlement Is Written and Signed
The other party may get buyer’s remorse. Unfortunately, your settlement is worth very little if it is not in writing.