How to Write A Will That Works For You

Mediation is an alternative form of resolving disputes between two or more parties.

What happens in mediation? The mediators role is to help the parties reach an agreement, but does not have the authority to compel participation in the process, and does not make a final decision in their case. Rather, the mediator helps the parties to understand the other parties point of view, reveal the “real” issue, and help the parties to find some common ground, even if the parties are not ready to fully resolve their dispute.

Mediation is helpful for many types of cases including divorce, child custody, child support, probate, and more. For family law cases, Mediation is almost always required by the Court, unless there is a domestic violence protection order between the parties. Mediation is not conducted by your lawyer; however, your lawyer will be an integral part of the mediation process in helping you to understand what a fair settlement should look like.

Most mediators use a “shuffle” approach where parties are in separate rooms during the process. Mediators will go back and forth between the rooms to convey offers, speak with the parties, and find creative ways to resolve the disputed issues. For a mediation to be effective, it usually requires a minimum of four hours of time. Mediations may take a full day when parties are faced with more complex issues.

In some cases, the state may pay for the cost of mediation. If parties are paying a mediator privately, the cost is typically as low as $75 per hour, per party, but can be as high as $500 an hour for highly experienced and well-known mediators. While it may sound like a lot of money, the cost of mediation is a fraction of the cost of going to a contested hearing or trial. Parties that settle in mediation are more often satisfied with the outcome of their case compared to parties that take their chances in court.

Is mediation right for you?