Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is an informal process in which opposing parties may negotiate a voluntary resolution of their dispute with the help of a neutral person called a “mediator”. The decision to mediate is completely voluntary.
How does it work?
Each party describes the dispute from his or her own point of view and offers possible solutions. The mediator helps the parties to focus on the real issues causing the problem and then helps them to find a workable solution. When the parties arrive at an agreement, the agreement is put in writing.
How do I begin the process?
Contact us to schedule an intake meeting. If you have a lawyer, ask him or her about mediating your case. If the other party also agrees to try mediation, either your lawyer or you should schedule an intake.
Are there cases that should not be mediated?
While many problems can be resolved in mediation, you can discuss with your attorney or a mediator whether or not the issues in your case can be mediated. Cases involving on-going domestic violence should almost never be mediated.
How does the mediator help the couple emotionally?
If one party is a stronger negotiator, mediation helps balance the power. When couples express hurt, fear or anger, mediators talk about the needs behind the feelings. They reframe the issue to help the couple focus on a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation supports the healing process.
• helps you focus on your future
• eliminates aggressive bargaining and legal games
• prioritizes the well-being of the children
• addresses the parties’ needs and interests, not just their positions
• gives you a voice in the process
• It works. A good deal of mediations end in agreement as the parties arE motivated to find resolution.
• It’s affordable. Parties generally agree to split the cost of a mediator. Cases mediated early may avoid costly litigation.
• It’s quick. If conducted early, mediation may result in settlement far quicker than waiting until near trial to settle.
• It’s private. Almost everything disclosed during mediation is confidential and cannot be used in a lawsuit.
• It’s impartial. Mediators have no stake in the outcome. Their role is to facilitate the resolution of the complaint.
• It’s cooperative, not adversarial. Mediation provides a comfortable, safe and respectful setting for discussion. It is nowhere as combative as court cases can become.