At Martin Foldie Law, we believe in providing our clients with all the necessary information you need to make informed decisions. Mediation is a valuable process that many people don’t consider or realize is a viable option, depending on the situation at hand. Our firm gives you the opportunity to explore a range of legal options to make the best decision.
The Mediation Process
A common misconception about mediation is that it is unstructured and lax. In fact, this is quite the opposite. In order to maintain a safe, productive environment for both parties to settle their needs, a mediator goes through several stages to ensure the best results.
- Mediator’s Opening Statement – Before the mediation can begin, the mediator starts by expressing the overall goals and the rules all parties must adhere to in order to make the most out of the session.
- Divided Parties’ Opening Statements – Next, all parties involved will take turns explaining their involvement with the conflict, the impact the conflict has had on them, and their goals or expectations of how the conflict should be resolved.
- Open Discussion – Once all parties have spoken, the mediator will facilitate a time for all parties to talk together about the opening statements. This allows the mediator to determine any additional or underlying issues that come up in the flow of conversation.
- Private Discussion – The mediator will then separate each party from the main group to go into a nearby room and privately discuss any new developments that have arisen.
- Joint Negotiation – After all of the private discussions are completed, the mediator will bring the parties together and begin to negotiate the terms of the conflict.
- Closure – Once a solution has been reached, the mediator will help to ensure that the agreement is carried out. This can include written contracts, notes on where to pick up should another session be required, or directions to proceed to court if necessary.
Benefits to Mediation
There are several benefits to consider when opting for the mediation process versus a traditional court.
- Compared to court fees, the mediation process is significantly cheaper.
- Whereas court cases can take months and even years to settle all areas of the conflict, the mediation process can take only several weeks maximum and can progress even faster if both parties are able to reach their individual decisions and goals.
Focus on personal needs
- The process gets to the root of the cause or problem, allowing both parties to grow as a result.
- Since the process is less rigid than a court hearing, mediation is less formal and thereby less intimidating.
- Unlike a court document, mediation hearings are private and not made available to public record.
Your voice is heard
- Mediation focuses on solving the issues, helping to maintain the relationship, and ensuring that your feelings are being addressed. Your individual perspective and voice is crucial to the process of mediation and nothing is done without your absolute consent and approval.