Host: How can I begin the mediation process?
John Spiegel: The key step is to get the other spouse, the other parent to agree to give it a trial and I think if you take the time with books or to go online and gather information about what this process is and what the benefits are and then share that information with your spouse, with the parent of your children and suggest to them, let us just give this a try.
Most mediators who do divorce mediation begin the process with an orientation session which will not involve substantive negotiations. It is a chance to meet the mediator for the mediator to do intake, In other words ask you lots of question, so the mediator will understand what is going on. For the mediator to go over with you, what the key issues are that will need to be addressed and then explain to you how mediation works, what will be expected of you if you go forward, what the mediators role will be.
So it is a very low risk thing to go in and have an orientation because all you are doing is gathering information. I think most people, once they go to an orientation they get a picture that, Hey! There are resources out there in the world that can be helpful, we are not glistened to have the fight with each other at this important moment in our lives.