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Should i settle before mediation?

Houston, TX |

My wife's lawyer has agreed to mediate through the dispute resolution center, so we will mediate on the 5th. But they've also asked me to send a concise email stating my good faith settlement offer. Should I even bother?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It sounds as if you do not understand the mediation process. A mediation is an opportunity for both sides to use a neutral party to try and help resolve the matter. One party needs to make an initial demand for the other party to counter. If neither party is willing to make an initital offer, there will not be a meaningful mediation. If you feel it would be beneficial, request the other attorney make an offer so that you can weigh your options and have a meaningful resonse at the mediation.


  2. Absolutely!

    If you write down what you want, then you will have a clear picture and it will save time at mediation.

    Often when I mediate, I ask one party what they want and they have never even considered what they want to resolve everything.

    I find it very helpful.

    You might also want to have several options:
    Such as:
    1. Flat cash payment of $1,000
    2. Monthly payments of $100 for 12 months
    3. Monthly payments of $50 for 24 months.


  3. You should send in your list of wants as an offer to settle. This list helps the mediator see how far apart the parties are and helps faciliate an effective mediation. Mediation is a good thing, and can allow the parties to determine the outcome as opposed to a judge that knows nothing about you other than what you get to tell thim in an hour or so.


  4. Although the mediation has now passed, for those of you who are reading this for informational purposes, please note that the mediation process is confidential. Therefore, whenever a request is made for a settlement offer, you should be mindful of who is making the request. Many times, mediators will ask for a document that is kept confidential between the party and the mediator and thus not shared with the other party. This is primarily to help the mediator do his/her job and have somewhere to start. If the other side is asking for a settlement offer, then you can give them one, but it is not required and obviously not confidential insofar as the other party is concerned. All settlement negotiations and mediation proceedings are confidential, so you can feel confident that settlement offers and demands won't make it to the courtroom unless the parties agree to waive that confidentiality. I hope your mediation went well!

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