How is mediation used?
Mediation can be used in any situation where the parties themselves cannot resolve a dispute. Mediation can either be ordered by the court or arranged voluntarily by the disputing parties. In some cases, mediation is the last option before going to court where a judge will make a decision for the parties based on limited information.
Common cases for mediation include: domestic matters (custody and visitation), victim-offender, family disagreements, disputes within school settings or with school personnel, problems in the workplace, or on a larger scale such as between corporations.
Following mediation, the mediator prepares a document called the Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum of Understanding contains the agreements made by the parties and is signed only by the mediator. Each party receives a copy and is advised to provide it to their attorney for review. In some cases, parties who choose not to retain a lawyer make arrangements with the court to have their agreement read into the record as a consent judgment.
What is family mediation?
Family mediation is often pursued as a means of working out custody, visitation, and access problems between divorcing parents.
Marital or relationship breakups are emotionally very hard and often provoke such intense emotions that parents have difficulty negotiating or planning appropriate approaches to co-parenting their children.
Children need both parents and most parents agree that they want their child to have a healthy relationship with the other parent.
A mediator can be very helpful in assisting parents in keeping the focus of their discussions on the best interest of their children, provide a physically and emotionally safe environment and structure to discuss highly emotionally charged issues with their former partner.
Mediation DOES NOT take the place of legal advice and participants are encouraged to retain legal counsel to review decisions made in mediation.