Taking A Break/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on March 2, 2017


There will be times in a mediation session where it is wise to take a break, for the day or for a long period of time. The latter advice was recently posted by the Department of Justice in New Zealand: “If you haven’t reached agreement at the end of your Family Dispute Resolution Sessions…it may be worth taking a break for a few months and then trying again.”

Taking a break, for a few minutes or even a few month, has many potential benefits:

*It restores calm to a situation that may be tense or in danger of becoming too confrontational.

*It gives the parties a chance to use the time to re-focus on the issues at hand.

*It restores mental and emotional homeostasis.

*It allows for the possibility of gaining new facts and/or perspectives.

*It allows the parties to focus anew on the big picture and “taking the view from the balcony” (See William Ury, “Getting Past No”.)

A mediation is a marathon (of sorts) and not a sprint. Utilizing time to advantage can be helpful in getting to the coveted Win-Win solution.