The Upstate Mediation Center is a non-profit organization that offers a voluntary alternative to the Court process by resolving disputes through the use of mediation. The Center offers services to all people regardless of their ability to pay.
Mediation is a negotiation process between two or more parties with the goal of arriving at a mutual agreement. It is a voluntary process in which an unbiased, neutral third-party mediator assists with settlement talks. Any agreement the parties reach is voluntary. The mediator does not act as a judge, or decide the dispute, but rather helps the parties reach an agreement. If the parties involved do not reach an agreement, they lose none of their rights to proceed to court.
Mediation generally begins with each party in a separate room. Parties are brought together only at both parties’ request. The mediator begins by explaining the mediation process and answering any questions the parties may have about mediation. From there, the mediator will work to address any and all issues requiring mediation. This allows each party to express all of their concerns to the mediator so that a comprehensive agreement can be brokered.
The mediator assists and guides the parties toward their own resolution. The mediator does not decide the outcome, but helps the parties understand and focus on the important issues needed to reach a resolution. Mediators are skilled at sifting through the facts, emotions and individual interests of the parties involved to determine what the issues are while maintaining an unbiased perspective. The mediator can offer creative approaches and innovative solutions that allow the outcome to be decided by the parties.
In arbitration, the arbitrator decides the matter like a judge. However, in mediation, the mediator helps the parties by facilitating communication of issues and ideas between the parties. It is a win-win situation since the parties ultimately are the ones who decide the matter.
In Greenville County, mediation is required in civil cases in Circuit and Family Court before the case goes to a judge or jury for final disposition.
However, people can mediate most any dispute, even before it goes to court, in addition to Circuit Court types of cases (i.e. contact disputes, injury, etc.) and Family Court cases (property, child custody, visitation and support issues). The Upstate Mediation Center also mediates Magistrate Court types of disputes, family disputes, employee/employer, home owner association, property, nuisance complaints, and lawsuits under $7,500. Call us to find out if your dispute is good for mediation.
Mediation usually proves less costly and time-consuming than litigation because the mediation process focuses on solutions immediately. The parties need not engage in lengthy court proceedings, etc. In mediation, there are are also NO attendant costs and exhibit preparation cost. Conflicts that may take years to resolve in court, can be resolved at a fraction of the cost through mediation.
Yes. The mediation itself is confidential in that the mediator cannot be subpoenaed into Court to testify as to what was said during mediation. This allows the parties to openly discuss issues without threat of having this information repeated in Court.
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The Upstate Mediation Center follows the Greenville County School system’s inclement weather policies. In the event of a 2 hour delay, morning mediation appointments will be postponed. Should schools close, morning and afternoon mediation appointments will be postponed. The Upstate Mediation Center staff will arrange the rescheduling of an appointment.