What is Mediation?
- Mediation is a private, confidential, and cooperative process in which an impartial person helps individuals or entities in conflict resolve and settle their differences.
- Mediation is practical, relatively informal, and unencumbered by courtroom procedures or legal technicalities. In most cases, mediation is significantly less expensive than litigation.
- Mediation empowers the parties to retain control of the critical decisions that affect their personal, financial, and business interests.
- Mediation is an effective and positive alternative to emotionally and financially debilitating courtroom battles. Although litigation is sometimes required, mediation is an alternative that should be considered when any dispute arises.
- See also Mediation: An Overview
How Mediation Works
- All parties meet personally with the mediator in joint and/or separate sessions.
- Relevant information and documentation is exchanged.
- The mediator does not impose or compel a settlement or a particular result but rather empowers the parties to determine their own outcome.
- The mediator encourages and facilitates dialogue, provides guidance, helps the parties clarify their needs and interests, provides guidance and assists parties in understanding their differences and works towards a mutually acceptable and binding resolution.
- A written memorandum is prepared when appropriate.
What Type of Disputes can be Mediated?
- Contractual Disputes
- Insurance Claims
- Personal Injury
- Property Damage
Business and Professional
- Internal Disputes
- Dissolution and Buy Outs
- Commercial Leases
- Boundary Disputes
- Neighbor Disputes
Probate & Will Contests
Divorce and Separation
- Child support agreements
- Spousal support agreements
- Determining, valuing, and dividing marital property
- Possession and/or disposition of the family residence
- Parenting plans
- Visitation agreements
- Changes to prior agreements
- Compliance with prior agreements
- Compliance with court orders
Advantages of Mediation
- Typically, a small fraction of the cost of litigation
- Resolution can be reached in less time than required for litigation
- Allows parties to retain control
- Separates the parties from the problem
- Shifts the focus of the dispute from rights to interests
- Avoids damage to important, ongoing relationships, which often results from the adversary process
- Custom procedures and creative settlement options are available
- Informal, voluntary exploration of settlement options is encouraged
- Can be utilized at any time — before, during, or after litigation
- Scheduling is designed for the parties’ convenience, not the court’s
- Avoids public disclosure of private matters – everything said or disclosed in mediation is confidential
- Most mediated cases are successfully resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all parties