What to Expect
Mediation Services Client Information Form
Mediation is more likely to lead to settlement when all participants enter the discussion with a willingness to compromise and be flexible, and with the intention of engaging in a fair exchange.
When preparing for mediation, clients are encouraged to list concerns or issues to be addressed, and to outline schedule proposals. During this process, be mindful of your child’s age and developmental stage, temperament, and overall wellbeing and needs as distinct from your own. This pre-mediation exercise helps focus the participants; leading to a more efficient and effective use of the mediation time.
In the first mediation session, Brooke will typically meet with both parties at the same time in a neutral space. This joint setting affords parties an opportunity to describe the issues; discuss their needs, interests, understandings, and feelings; and explore ideas for resolution. The parties will also be encouraged to use this time to share information with each other. Information sharing can help diffuse misunderstandings spurred by a lack of information, misinformation, or having different information.
In accordance with Idaho Court Rules, attorneys and other individuals are excluded from mediation sessions, unless their presence is requested by the mediator or ordered by the court.
Brooke may meet with each party privately during mediation. This private meeting is called a “caucus.” Conversations held in caucus are confidential to the extent the caucusing party so desires. Caucus affords each party an opportunity to express thoughts, ideas, and feelings, as well as discuss delicate relational issues they are not ready to share with the other party. Brooke may also use this time to coach the parties on communication skills, and to flesh out positions in order to better understand the underlying interests.
Although caucus can be useful, mediation functions optimally when the parties are able to communicate and collaborate with one another in the same space. After an effective caucus, the parties are generally prepared to return to the same space to continue their work together.
Once the participants reach agreement, Brooke will memorialize the agreement in writing for the participants to sign. If the participants are represented by legal counsel, then Brooke will provide the mediation agreement to the participants’ legal counsel to review before signing. Depending on the circumstances, the mediation agreement may be the final document, or it may be incorporated as one component in a more comprehensive legal document.
If the participants do not reach agreement, Brooke will provide additional information about options and next steps. Even when agreement is not reached in mediation, the parties are benefited by having the opportunity to be heard in a neutral and confidential setting.