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What Is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process in which a trained, impartial third party (a mediator) assists disputing parties in working through and reaching a mutually acceptable agreement regarding their dispute. During the mediation session, the issues are identified, misunderstandings are clarified, possible solutions are discussed and agreements negotiated. Participation in mediation does not prevent the parties from pursuing other options if they do not reach an agreement. The mediator is not a judge and does not render or impose a solution on either party. Mediation is about finding a solution that works for both parties - a win-win outcome. Learn more.

How Does Mediation Work?

At the mediation session the parties present a summary of their points of view. Usually, the mediator will meet privately with each party to fully explore the facts and issues of each side. This allows the participants to vent anger or frustrations outside of the presence of the opposing side. The mediator will act as a messenger and alternatively meet with each party carrying proposals back and forth. If the parties agree, they may be in the same room at some point during the mediation session. Any verbal agreement will be reduced to a writing by the mediator. Learn more.

What is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is about resolving disputes that arise when a marriage or relationship ends such as custody, child support, visitation, and property division. If the parties can come to an agreement on handling these issues, everyone benefits, especially any children involved. During family mediation, each party meets individually with a neutral third party, a trained family mediator, to work through all of the issues as amicably and cost effectively as possible. All that's required to make a family mediation successful is for both people to show up willing to negotiate and open to compromise. If two parties see a particular issue differently, mediation is a good option to consider to clarify the issues and promote understanding. Learn more.