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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a facilitated, constructive negotiation process for resolving differences and conflicts between individuals, groups, and organizations. It is an alternative to avoidance, destructive confrontation, prolonged litigation or violence. It gives people in conflict an opportunity to take responsibility for the resolution of their dispute and control of the outcome. Community mediation is designed to meet individual interests while strengthening relationships and building connections between people and groups, and to create processes that make communities work for all of us.

Mediation is a process of dispute resolution in which one or more impartial third parties intervenes in a conflict with the consent of the disputants and assists them in negotiating a consensual and informed agreement. In mediation, the decision-making authority rests with the parties themselves. Recognizing variations in styles and cultural differences, the role of the mediator(s) involves assisting the disputants in defining and clarifying issues, reducing obstacles to communication, exploring possible solutions, and reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. Mediation presents the opportunity to constructively express differences and to "hear each other out" even when an agreement is not reached.

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Benefits of Mediation

Collaborative

You are encouraged to work together to solve problems and reach the best solution.

Voluntary

You choose to participate in this solution-focused process.

Party-Controlled

You have complete decision-making power and a veto over each and every provision of any mediated agreement. Nothing can be imposed on you.

Confidential

Mediation is confidential. The mediator cannot testify for or against you. What is said in mediation cannot be used later in court or arbitration. The only exception to that rule is a signed, final agreement.

Affordable

The average mediation costs about $100 per person and can result in a signed written contract between the parties at the table.

Private and Personal

Mediation takes place in a comfortable, private environment rather than an open courtroom, and the parties decide who needs to be involved. The time, place, and duration of the sessions are determined by you, the other party, and the mediator.

Self-Responsible and Satisfying

In mediation you are actively involved in resolving your own conflict and developing a resolution that fits the particular circumstances of your life. Research has shown that these elements dramatically increase the likelihood that both parties will be satisfied with the result, finding it easier to comply with the terms of the agreement.

The Mediator's Role...

...is to ensure that parties reach agreements in a voluntarily and informed manner, and not as a result of coercion or intimidation.

Impartial and Neutral - The mediator will assist you and the other party equally without favoring one side or the other. The mediator has no interest in making you settle your dispute.

They are unbiased about what you and the other party put in your agreement. The mediator will not decide who is right, give legal advice, or recommend solutions.

If because of the individuals or issues involved, a mediator cannot maintain neutrality, they will withdraw.