Mediation Are Less Formal than Court
Video Transcribed: What can you expect from mediation? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I’m a father’s rights attorney in Tulsa here with Dads.Law.
Today we’re going to talk about what you can expect to experience if your case is going to mediation. A couple of key points to remember. Mediation is basically a settlement conference. Nothing you do in mediation is binding on you or her unless the two of you agree to make it binding. Otherwise, if you don’t like something that’s suggested, then you can say no to it. Mediation is not as formalized as courtroom proceedings. The rules of evidence are not in effect. The rules of procedure are not in effect in the same way. So it’s an opportunity for you as the party to speak freely. And when I do mediation, I usually let my clients do most of the talking, and I’m there to advise because it’s their opportunity to talk. And no one knows better than you to do what you want.
Mediation typically costs money. The going right in Tulsa right now is about 250 bucks an hour. It’s usually a two-hour minimum for most mediators. And usually, the cost is split between the parties. So basically what that means to you is you need to bring money with you when you go to mediation. The other thing to expect from mediation, you’re not going to get everything you want. Anytime you settle a case, it’s always going to be compromised. You’re going to have to give some things up, and she may have to give up some things. So with that in mind, one thing you want to do to prepare for mediation is to have a good idea of what you are willing to negotiate on and what you were not willing to negotiate on.
What’s more important, what’s less important? Because you are going to have to compromise somewhere. It’s extremely unusual that one side gets everything they want in mediation. Although to be fair, it’s also extremely unusual that one side gets everything they want in courtroom litigation on divorces and child custody anyway. Divorces paternities, motions to modify. Frequently neither side gets everything they want, even if it goes all the way to a trial.
So another thing that I can tell you guys about mediation is it’s confidential. You can kind of think of mediation like Las Vegas. Whatever happens in mediation stays in mediation. It’s not evidence in court. You can’t summon the mediator in as a witness. If she admits to things in mediation, it’s not evidence. Now, you would be aware of it. So for example, for your attorney to build cross-examination questions for her if she admits to something in mediation, it can inform as far as how to ask questions, but you can’t challenge their credibility if they deny it later. And of course, offers made in mediation are 100% confidential. And all of that, those rules exist for the purpose of facilitating open dialogue without the risk of creating exposure in a courtroom.
So that’s kind of what you can expect with mediation. And if you are headed to mediation, you need a good lawyer. And if you do enter into a binding agreement in mediation, as I said, it’s binding. It becomes a court order ultimately, and then you got to live with it. So you need good counsel. And one place where you can find good counsel is from an Oklahoma mediation lawyer at Dads.Law, where fathers are not disposable.