Before you do mediation, you have to check yourself and make sure you’re ready to do it. If you’re already aggravated, tired, and everything else, you’re not going to do a good job. Let’s say one of the parties is really, really volatile or really, really obnoxious. I’ll pull them into another room and I’ll say to them, “Look, here are your choices. You can go to trial and spend $50,000 or you sit in this room with the person that you married, at one point you loved, and had children with and try to figure out what’s best for your kids. What do you want to do?” If the guy is still very difficult, or the woman, I’ll say I’m done. You guys are wasting your time, your money, and now you’re wasting my time.
With 30 years of experience in family law, Laura M. Urbik Kern is a certified mediator and family lawyer who concentrates on dissolution, family and juvenile law, child support, and complex domestic relations cases.