What is Mediation?
When two people (or two parties) cannot find a solution to a conflict themselves, Mediation can be very useful. During mediation, a trained third party who has no personal interest in the conflict-facilitates the negotiation of a solution by using reason and offering alternatives. Mediation is different from arbitration in that the mediator has no legal or binding authority and cannot dictate a solution to the conflict.
What are the advantages of Mediation?
Since the mediator has no legal or binding authority, mediation allows the parties to be in complete control of the outcome(s).
Mediation is generally less expensive when contrasted to the expense of litigation.
The mediation alternative often provides a more timely way of resolving disputes. When parties want to get on with business or their lives- rather than waiting around for court dates - mediation may be desirable as a means of producing rapid results.
Amicability Mediation can provide an amicable way of setting differences and may help to preserve a working relationship if parties are interested in communicating beyond a settlement. It may also help to gently terminate a relationship altogether.
What can I expect from the process?
The mediation process can have two distinct phases. If the two parties are at an impasse in which there is no productive communication, the mediator may ask to speak with the two parties separately, with the intention of helping to reach a point where they are prepared to meet face to face, to search together for some solution to their conflict. When the parties are ready to do so, there is a direct negotiation between the two, with the mediator present as an unbiased facilitator.
How long is the mediation process?
The length of the process depends on the case. For relatively minor legal matters, the conflict could be resolved in a single two-hour mediation. For public disputes, the process could stretch over a couple of months. The process is goal-driven. In other words, the intention is to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties within a limited amount of time.
Can all problems be mediated?
No. Mediation depends on the willingness of the people in conflict to work out their problems. However, it is important that there is no guarantee that it will work. In some cases, parties may be referred for legal counsel.
You should not agree to divorce mediation if you or your children are being abused, or if you are intimidated by your spouse. If this is the case, please consider setting an individual counseling appointment.