How does mediation work?

The individuals in dispute meet together with a mediator. Our mediators are professionals who are trained to help parties resolve problems in a cooperative manner. The mediator then guides the communication process so that everyone has a chance to be heard. Issues are discussed one at a time and a variety of solutions are explored to help reach the best possible agreement. The final agreement is always up to the parties.

What types of disputes can be resolved in mediation?

Mediation can be helpful for resolving relationship and marital conflict between partners as well as other types of family disagreements. Mediation can be very helpful for couples experiencing conflict during and after separation or divorce, especially when children are involved.

Do we both have to participate?

Yes. Mediation is a joint, cooperative problem solving process. It is essential for both spouses to participate. Participants do not need to feel friendly towards each other but they must be willing and able to work together to final solutions that will meet everyone’s needs.

Can mediation help us get back together?

Mediation is not couples counseling. If there are any doubts about the separation or divorce, you should talk to your spouse about participating in couples counseling sessions.

Are children involved in the mediation process?

In some cases teenage children may participate in mediation so that their parents can better understand and consider their children’s needs and feelings. This information can be extremely valuable in helping the parent’s develop their plans for the future of their family. It can be extremely comforting and beneficial for the children to see their parents working together in a positive way. Issues that may effect a child’s participation include subject of the mediation, the wishes of their parents, their own desire to participate and their age or maturity level.

Do I need an attorney?

Each party has the opportunity for their agreement to be reviewed by the attorney of their choice. Mediation is not a substitute for independent legal advice. Our mediator will focus on helping participants reach their own agreement and does not represent either party.

Are mediation agreements legally binding?

A mediation agreement may be drafted by mediators and the parties as an informal working agreement or filed with the court as a legal contract. When an agreement is incorporated into a court order or divorce decree it becomes legally binding and subject to the approval of a judge. Any change to an agreement previously approved by a judge must be filed with the court in order to be legally binding.




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