I’ve been asked, “When should mediation be scheduled?” Below are some tips for when to schedule mediation in a family law matter.
Most courts will require you to attend mediation before a Temporary Orders hearing and/or final trial. Therefore schedule mediation at least one to two weeks before your hearing or trial. Scheduling this far in advance allows time to prove up your agreements in Court. Alternatively in the rare event your case does not settle, this allows time to prepare for trial. If mediation is scheduled too close to the trial date then you have to prepare for trial even if the case settles in mediation which incurs greater cost.
Yes, you read that right schedule mediation before you even file suit. If you mediate first you may resolve all issues and therefore just have to draft the paperwork and finalize. There is no rule or law that says you must have an active lawsuit in order to mediate. In fact mediating first could save time and money.
Many times parties come to mediation without all of their information. This causes mediation to be longer while the parties try to gather that information. Having all of your financial information, supporting documents for conservatorship, possession and access, property division with you will save time and money in mediation. Even worse, when parties do not have their documentation mediations have to be reset until after they get all their documents.
You can even click here and schedule mediation now!