Mediation is the attempt via a third party (mediator) to negotiate a settlement and help parties in a disagreement to hear one another. Mediation is a form of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) that seeks to minimize harm. Through mediation, the parties involved can come to a resolution that helps maintain their relationship, rather than break it. Mediation is informal and much more affordable than conventional litigation, it’s easier on the parties involved, and it puts the problem and solution in the hands of the parties involved, rather than in the court system.
Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is the procedure for settling disputes without litigation, outside of the courtroom. ADR is a far more affordable and easy approach to resolution of issues than conventional litigation. ADR includes early neutral evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, mediation, and arbitration.
There are three helpful questions to ask friends, family, and professionals on how to find the right mediator:
- What makes someone qualified to handle the case?
- How do you find mediators who are qualified to handle the case?
- How do you know when you’ve found the right mediator?
Keep in mind that mediation is not something with a mathematical formula; it is an art, not a science. A good mediator should be apt at listening and communicating and also assisting others. A mediator should also be knowledgeable about the subject matter of the case – for instance, divorce mediators tend to have a background of studies in relevant family law or psychology. It’s important when picking a mediator, to pick one with a specialty that corresponds with your needs. If the problem is related to children, find a mediator with expertise in child custody and support – or if it’s a financial problem, find a mediator with a financial focus.
A good mediator also obviously needs proper licensing and training. Courses are widely available, and regardless of what particular emphasis one might take, a mediator might still want to opt for some level of divorce mediation training given the widespread and common nature of that particular issue. When searching for a suitable mediator, one will want to familiarize themselves with the mediator’s level of experience in the given area. Occasionally, a less-experienced mediator might be more optimal for certain cases for various reasons – such as cost.
Tilton & Tilton’s family law attorneys have the expertise to find and assist you with your mediation and make sure the process is smooth, with your side of the story fairly represented. Call us for more information or a free legal consultation at 713-774-8600.