Mediation is a service, provided by a neutral trained professional with expertise in conflict resolution, to assist people to resolve conflicts.
People in conflict who are unable to resolve their conflicts with others have traditionally turned to attorneys and the courts for assistance. In this scenario, one party sues another party over their claim. Each party engages an attorney and “retains” them to act on their behalf in negotiations, and authorizes them to speak on their behalf. Attorneys often do all of the speaking, either to the other attorney, or the judge in court. Attorneys may attempt to come to agreement prior to going to court, often with their client removed from the negotiations.
Mediation is a process in which the people in dispute utilize the expertise of a trained professional mediator to assist them in problem-solving. The parties to the dispute do not turn over the problem solving to anyone else to speak for them, or to make decisions without their input. Though attorneys may or may not be involved in the background educating and advising their client as to their rights, obligations, and options, they do not “speak for” their client in mediation. Many mediated settlements do not involve attorneys at all.
Usually, a mediator is contacted by one person involved in a dispute. To maintain neutrality and fairness, the mediator does not meet with one party alone. The office of a mediator assists in an attempt to engage both sides of the dispute in the process of resolving the dispute. The parties in the dispute often know that if they do not reach a settlement during mediation, that the case may go forward in the court.
Meetings involve the mediator and each of the parties to the dispute. A Mediator begins by outlining the process and procedures that will be utilized in identifying and clarifying the disputed issues, and the plan for how those disputes will be discussed, and how solutions will be considered.
Mediation has been highly effective and less costly than litigation in court with issues involving divorce, child custody, business disputes, property disputes, employee conflicts, and just about any other subject that can bring people to court.
Christian Family Institute has several trained mediators on staff.