Mediation is a voluntary process whereby parties to a dispute, i.e.,divorcing spouses, meet with, (with or without attorneys) a trained third party who assists them in reaching an amicable resolution to their controversy.
I only have mediation with trained attorney mediators.You and I will be in one room and your spouse and his attorney will be in another room. The mediator will go between the rooms with offers of settlement and will facilitate an agreement.It is usually a successful way to settle disputes.Come dressed comfortably to mediation, jeans and shorts are fine.
The following concepts are helpful in describing the mediation process.
Voluntary - You can end the process at any time for any reason, or no reason. If you are thinking of leaving, you are encouraged to speak up and let the mediator know why. The reasons that you are thinking of leaving can become conditions for your continued participation. For example, if you are thinking of leaving because you do not feel heard, presumably you would continue in mediation if you felt heard.
Collaborative - You are encouraged to work together to solve your problem's and to reach what you perceive to be your fairest and most constructive agreement.
Controlled - You have complete decision-making power. Each of you has a veto over each and every provision of any mediated agreement. Nothing can be imposed on you.
Confidential - Mediation is confidential, to the extent you desire, be that by statute, contract, rules of evidence or privilege. Mediation discussions and all materials developed for a mediation are not admissible in any subsequent court or contested proceedings, except for a finalized and signed mediated agreement for enforcement purposes.
Informed - The mediation process offers a full opportunity to obtain and incorporate legal and other expert information and advice. Individual or mutual experts can be retained. Obtained expert information can be designated as either confidential to the mediation or, if you desire, as admissible in any subsequent contested proceeding. Expert advice is never determinative in mediation. You, as parties, always retain decision-making power. Mediators are bound to encourage parties to obtain legal counsel and to have any mediated agreement involving legal issues reviewed by independent legal counsel prior to signing. Whether legal advice is sought is, ultimately, a decision of each participant.
Impartial, Neutral, Balanced and Safe - The mediator has an equal and balanced responsibility to assist each mediating party and cannot favor the interests of any one party over another, nor should the mediator favor a particular result in the mediation. The mediator's role is to ensure that parties reach agreements in a voluntarily and informed manner, and not as a result of coercion or intimidation. If you ever feel that the mediator is favoring one party over another, or any particular result over another, or if you should ever feel intimidated or otherwise unsafe in mediation, speak up. The mediation should not continue unless you come to be satisfied in all of these regards.
Self-Responsible and Satisfying - Based upon having actively resolved your own conflict, participant satisfaction, likelihood of compliance and self-esteem are found by research to be elevated through mediation.