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Mediation Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose Mediation?

Because mediation works. Nationally, people in mediation reach agreements 80-90+% of the time.

Benefits of Mediation

  • You and your family will work cooperatively, avoiding a lengthy battle.
  • You create your own agreement, which research shows people are most likely to uphold.
  • Privacy and confidentiality are highly guarded throughout the process.
  • Because mediation is focused on the future, it is solution-oriented.
  • You and your family design a plan that works for the changing family.
  • You set the pace, avoiding delays and high-pressure deadlines.
  • You will most likely save time and money over other choices.
  • You get your “day in court,” a chance to be heard in a private and non-threatening environment.

How Does It Work?

The mediator will sit down with you and your family and listen to your respective concerns and needs. That open exchange of information frees up everyone to negotiate with each other in confidence. Because everyone is working with the same information at the same time, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a resolution that makes sense to everyone.  With the help of the mediator, you reach agreements that will help the family transition to new relationships together.

What if We Don’t Reach Agreement?

If you do not reach an agreement, which can happen, you can use the more expensive options of the adversarial process that you had available to begin with.  The mediator(s) and those involved in the mediation are not allowed to testify in court about what was said in mediation, as explained in the confidentiality discussion on the About Mediation page.

What if We Change Our Minds About Mediation?

Mediation is voluntary.  You will never be under pressure from the mediator to continue the process if anyone is uncomfortable with moving forward.  Anyone can withdraw from mediation at any time, for any reason.

What If We Aren’t Friendly or I Am Intimidated by the Other Person?

Success does not depend on the individuals involved being friendly, reasonable, or even talking to each other, as long as everyone is willing to mediate.  By using mediation communications skills, the mediator(s) will work to keep the process fair to each person and even the most seemingly impossible situations can often be resolved.

I’ll Win in Court so Why Bother with Mediation?

The fact is, someone always loses in court and nothing is certain.  You can avoid that risk and expense, and instead manage your time to achieve a result that is mutually acceptable.  You are in control when you mediate, not the judge, and that can produce predictable and much more acceptable results.

What is Co-Mediation?

Co-mediation is available upon your request and usually involves 2 mediators; often 1 female and 1 male.  Co-mediation is more expensive, but could be helpful to couples with significant interpersonal issues.

FAQ Answers by Marty Chadwick

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