When a fight, dispute or conflict occurs between two people or parties, mediation services can help them come to an agreement. The process involves both sides sitting down in a confidential meeting with a neutral mediator, and the mediator helps them discuss their concerns and look into solutions. If the parties are able to resolve their issues through mediation, the mediator can help them draw up legal documents to memorialize their agreement. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the mediator can suggest a lawyer or other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) resources to help them.
Aside from resolving divorce issues, mediation can also be used to help couples who are considering separation or divorce, and for other family issues such as child custody, property division and spousal support. In addition to providing a way for families to resolve disputes outside of court, mediation can often save money by avoiding the high costs of litigation.
There are a number of different ways to find a mediator, including asking your attorney or other trusted advisors for a recommendation, searching for mediators in your area through the Statewide Mediator Directory or by looking for not-for-profit community mediation centers or ADR programs. You can also check with the local court or ask a judge or referee for a referral.
Once you’ve found a mediator to work with, make sure you get everything together before your first session. This includes bringing bills, bank statements and other relevant documentation. It’s important to be honest about your finances, as if your ex-partner finds out that you’ve tried to hide assets or other financial information, they can take you back to court for a higher share of the money.
It’s also a good idea to think about what your priorities are in the dispute before your session. This can help you stay focused during the session and work towards a solution that addresses all your needs and interests.
As with the search for a mediator, you can also check with your local court’s administration office or look in the phone book under “mediation” or “conflict resolution.” Many community mediation centers have volunteer mediators and offer free or low-cost services, and there are also mediation organizations that offer lists of mediators and their areas of expertise.
If you’re deciding on a mediator for a business dispute, find out what kind of technology they use to conduct their sessions and whether they have the ability to mediate online. If they do, make sure they have experience assisting small businesses with issues like employee conflicts, contract negotiations and other business-related matters. It’s also a good idea to inquire about their availability for evening or weekend appointments and whether they have the capacity to accommodate any special needs you may have. Ask about their fees as well, and find out whether they include any extras such as filing fees or use of a process server. If they do, ask for a written estimate of the total cost. mediation services near me