Facilitative mediation is probably the most common type of mediation and the most well-known. In a facilitative mediation, the mediator encourages the parties to reach their own voluntary solution by exploring each party’s objectives, goals and interests. The mediator is less likely to make recommendations or even vocalize her own views, instead allowing the parties themselves to formulate a plan. A facilitative mediator may make suggestions but may rely less on the law and more on the parties’ objectives, goals and interests. The facilitative mediator will likely ask a lot of questions. The parties are more likely to sit in the same room together with the mediator.
Parties are encouraged to be open in explaining their wants and objectives to the mediator, as well as be open in sharing information with the other party. Mediation is a confidential process. Information shared in mediation cannot be shared in other portions of the judicial process
Pros to Facilitative Mediation: Quicker, less expensive and easier than other types of mediation. Best for parties who generally get along quite well, who trust each other fairly well, and who have some idea regarding their wants and needs as well as some idea of their marital estate’s assets and liabilities.
Cons to Facilitative Mediation: Not the best for parties who don’t have a great understanding of their assets and liabilities or the other party’s income and retirement accounts. Also not best for parties who are not on similar playing fields or where one party has always exhibited substantial control over the other party. However, a party can level the playing field simply by coming prepared to the mediation and by reading and following the tips below.
We use a combination of all three types of mediation. When attorneys are not involved, we rely most heavily on facilitative mediation with some transformative mediation. This allows the parties to reach their own form of agreement, while also teaching and empowering the parties.
When attorneys are involved in the process, we tend to rely more heavily on the evaluative type of mediation, discussing with the parties and their attorneys the strengths and weaknesses of their respective arguments.
We encourage parties to discuss the mediation types with us when you have your initial consultation. Many people feel disadvantaged when entering mediation. Ask questions before and during the mediation. We will not advocate for either party during a mediation, but we will always answer questions.
Ask questions. If you don’t know your rights pertaining to alimony, ask questions like, “How does the court calculate alimony?” If you are unclear about your rights pertaining to child custody, you might ask “How does the court resolve child custody disputes?” If you don’t know how the courts will divide your property, ask that question. As your mediator, we do not represent you and therefore, we cannot advise you. We cannot tell you what you should do, but we can certainly tell you what the court could do under certain circumstances.
Do your research. Google searches may not provide you with information on New Mexico laws, but it will educate you. Look up New Mexico laws and statutes. Go to www.nmcourts.gov and you will find information and forms. By reviewing forms, you will begin to understand what is expected of you and what your rights may be.
Bring documents. Documents help the mediator ascertain the incomes, assets and liabilities of the parties. Even if you don’t know the other’s party’s income, bring documentation of your own income which will encourage further exchange of documents. Bring tax returns, copies of bills and bank statements.