At the Initial Conference today, the judge ordered same day mediation for my client and his spouse. In this case, the lawyers were not invited. So my client asked me what he should do in mediation.

I told him that he already knew what he wanted and all he had to do was tell the mediator. I think the most important preparation is to know what you want. That’s why I try to discuss and put in writing the client’s objectives as early in the case as possible.

I took him through the likely agenda, which in a divorce case is basically:

  • Child Custody and Access
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • Property Division
  • Attorney Fees

So what are the objectives you have for your case? If you post them in comments I will try to tell you if they are reasonable or need some more work.

3 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:


    My wife and I are about to go to mediation and my expectations are(we have a 3y/o daughter)

    1) Joint Physical 42% nights with me and 58% with her mother(want 50/50 but trying to be reasonable)
    2) Joint Legal
    3) Sale of House with profit split 50/50
    4)assets should not be an issue to divide

    the big sticking point will be custody(she offered every other weekend with two hours 5:30-7:30 two night during the week) and the house she wants to buy me out(she can’t afford this)

    Thanks in advance

  2. James J. Gross
    James J. Gross says:

    Your objectives are entirely reasonable. I would also recommend that you write down your best case, middle case and worst case result for each objective. Also put a number by each objective to rank them in order of importance to you. Finally, for #1 (physical custody–the sticking point), try to get your focus off the percentages, and more on the quality times and dates you will spend with your daughter.

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