"Thank you for the effort and energy you put into this... You were always balanced and fair in your treatment with both of us, and kept us on task, when doing so had to have been difficult. Thank you."

Mediation is part of a group of processes called Alternative Dispute Resolution ... alternatives that is, to going to court. In Mediation you have a safe place for healthy discussion and for exploring decisions that need to be made.

The Mediator is a neutral facilitator - doesn't take sides, doesn't give legal advice, and doesn't impose decisions.

So what DOES a Mediator do? Listens, keeps the conversation focused and productive, reframes the issues, ensures all parties are heard and that all sides of the issue are considered.

A Mediator helps you decide whether you want to settle the case by agreement, and if so, under what terms.

A lot of people appreciate being able to resolve issues themselves, without court. Often, even if discussion has been difficult, people appreciate the closure that Mediation affords them.

You make decisions about your own life, with the help of a Mediator.

In short, Mediation is a private, facilitated discussion.

Outline: The Mediation Process

  1. Introduction: welcome, discuss confidentiality and ground rules
  2. Description by the Parties & Understanding Main Concerns: each person describes the situation and the issues from their own perspective, without interruption; the mediator clarifies main concerns and areas of common ground
  3. Brainstorming Ideas for Resolution: parties develop creative ideas for settlement that address the issues they each raised
  4. Evaluating Ideas and Reaching Agreement: parties gather information needed for well-reasoned decisions that are workable, realistic, and acceptable to all parties
  5. Closure: clarify specific agreements and next steps; ensure agreements are lasting and durable, yet flexible enough to account for events in the future

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