Family Mediation applies the basic principles of mediation to the resolution of issues that arise in families. It is non-adversarial. Family mediation can result in sound decision-making, reconciliation of divergent views, clearing the air, lessening resentment, greater understanding, improved communication, and better family relationships.
When people have a dispute over issues in a civil matter, mediation can help the parties reach a resolution in a timely and cost-effective manner. A trained, impartial mediator can assist the parties in talking and working things out. The result may not be a perfect resolution, but it is one that the parties have determined and accepted. Mediation provides a safe environment for the parties to discuss the underlying issues and reasons for the parties’ positions should the parties feel comfortable in doing so.
Mediation is very well suited for contested disputes before the Probate Court involving the administration of estates and inheritance issues. Usually, parties involved in Probate Court cases have differences of opinion about the underlying facts and the distribution of an estate’s assets and property, including decisions involving the appointment and performance of the estate’s personal representative. In mediation, everyone has the chance to have their say in a setting in which people may speak freely in an effort to understand the other parties’ views in trying to resolve the matter. The overwhelming majority of contested matters in the Probate Court settle before trial. All contested cases in South Carolina’s probate courts are eligible for mediation. The court may refer cases to mediation or parties may request mediation. Any party may ask the court to order the reimbursement of those fees from the estate if the mediation process “significantly benefited” the estate.
The South Carolina Supreme Court mandated the mediation of all civil jury cases in Greenville County Magistrate’s Court. The UMC manages this program by providing trained, volunteer civil mediators for all such cases at the courthouse on a regular basis. A UMC staff member prepares the files, forms and administers to the docket on mediation days. The program is very successful as the UMC is credited with resolving over 80% of the cases mediated by its volunteers. Most of the Magistrate Court mediators are experienced attorneys or retired judges who have all completed a Court-approved formal mediation training program or have met the training and experience requirements as set for by the Court. The process is free to parties involved in the litigation.
The goal of the Greenville Community-Police Mediation Program is to build understanding and improve relationships between the City of Greenville Police Officers and citizens of the community. It is an alternative to the traditional complaint investigation process by the GPD’s Internal Affairs Department. By improving the relationship between the community and police, mediation helps make neighborhoods safer and stronger.
Community mediations are an opportunity for individuals, groups, or organizations in conflict to have a conversation with the goal of peaceful resolution that is facilitated by a trained, neutral mediator in a safe, confidential, and efficient manner. Mediation is an alternative to avoidance, destructive confrontation, prolonged litigation, or violence. It allows people in conflict to take responsibility for the resolution of their dispute and control the outcome. Community mediation preserves individual interests while strengthening relationships and building connections between people and groups.